Apple's Tim Cook Spotted at China Mobile's Headquarters?

M.I.C gadget notes that a reporter from Chinese newspaper First Financial Daily reported seeing Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook in the lobby of China Mobile's headquarters earlier today. According to the reporter, who was also able to snap a photo of Cook although it only shows him from the rear:

This morning, around 10, Apple COO Tim Cook is spotted in the lobby of China Mobile’s HQ, accompanied by 7-8 people. Probably Cook is talking with executives from China Mobile to discuss bilateral cooperation for the iPhone. Both China and America flags are seen in the lobby, and Cook seems to be happy.

China Mobile is far and away the world's largest mobile phone carrier with over 600 million customers, making it a major potential partner for Apple. The carrier has long been interested in offering the iPhone, but Apple has so far been unwilling to build customized hardware capable of running on China Mobile's homegrown TD-SCDMA network standard.


Reports last month indicated that Apple and China Mobile had reached or were nearing an agreement that would see a future iPhone developed for the carrier's TD-LTE 4G network. Reports have indicated that the same chips could be used for both LTE and TD-LTE, meaning that Apple could conceivably release a future iPhone capable of running on either standard. Complicating the issue, however, is a lack of full LTE coverage looking out over the next several years, and the consequent difficulties of providing fallback 3G compatibility for different standards.

If Cook is indeed in China talking to executives at China Mobile, it seems likely that significant discussions are underway. While any negotiations of this size would likely take place at the senior executive level, Cook's role as Chief Operating Officer currently in charge of Apple's day-to-day operations in the absence of Steve Jobs would suggest that his direct involvement signals negotiations of the highest importance.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
122 months ago
Seen better pictures of Bigfoot.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
122 months ago

Apple is a company with products - look at the products, not the humans running the company.


What a strange thing to say.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
122 months ago
Look!! I found him too!!!!!!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
122 months ago

I imagine he does go visit China once in a while, if for no other reason than to visit Foxconn factories. If he's going to spend all day on an airplane, he's going to take the opportunity to visit other big players too. So, this says pretty much nothing about how far along Apple's plans are with China Mobile. But it is kind of a fun news item in a voyeuristic sort of way.

My guess is that when Tim Cook travels, he has very specific reasons, agendas, and meeting topics.

Based on his working style, it is unlikely that he would just drop in on big players, just to say "hi" or to justify his time in the air.

He is in that building to talk about something specific.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
122 months ago

Might be time to re-look at that Apple stock. If an iPhone is released in China, suddenly Apple have access to 600 million more people. Look at how well the Chinese Apple stores are doing already.

Just imagine, 600 million people forming a line in front of the Apple Stores in China on launch day .... (they probably could form a line going forth and back between the two China Apple Stores)
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
122 months ago



I would customize the **** out of anything for 600M potential customers.. I don't know why Apple would even hesitate..

Margins. Apple is not interested in "making it up on volume". They leave the loss leaders and razor thin margins to the other guys.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 12 Pro in Graphite and iPhone 12 in Blue Shown Off in Unboxing Videos

Monday October 19, 2020 8:20 am PDT by
While the iPhone 12 Pro does not launch until Friday, we now have an early unboxing video of the device courtesy of Twitter account DuanRui, providing a closer look at the shiny new flat-edge design and sleek Graphite color option. Ben Geskin re-uploaded the unboxing video to YouTube, which we've embedded below: Geskin has also uploaded an unboxing video of the iPhone 12 in Blue: ...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

Kuo: iPhone 12 Pro Demand Higher Than Expected

Sunday October 18, 2020 10:39 pm PDT by
TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a research note this morning detailing what he's seen with the volume of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro pre-orders in the first weekend of sales. Kuo had previously indicated that Apple's estimated shipment allocations for the new iPhone models placed the iPhone 12 at the top with 40-45% of inventory allocation (up from 15-20%). However, ...

Apple Releases iPadOS and iOS 14.1 With Multiple Bug Fixes Ahead of iPhone 12 Launch

Tuesday October 20, 2020 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.1, the first major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 14 operating system updates that were released in September. iOS and iPadOS 14.1 come a week after Apple released the golden master versions of the updates to developers. The iOS 14.1 update can be downloaded for free and it is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access...

Hands-On With Apple's MagSafe Charger for iPhone 12

Monday October 19, 2020 11:54 am PDT by
Alongside the new iPhone 12 models, Apple introduced a MagSafe charger that attaches to the back of the iPhones using magnets embedded both in the charger and in the iPhone. It allows for speedier charging and paves the way for a portless iPhone in the future. MagSafe chargers are shipping out and are in some Apple retail locations now, and we picked one up to check it out. Subscribe to the ...

Watch: iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Unboxing Videos and First Impressions

Tuesday October 20, 2020 6:05 am PDT by
Apple's embargo has lifted for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro reviews. In addition to our detailed review roundups for each device, we've rounded up over a dozen unboxing videos and first impressions below. iPhone 12 in Blue on left and iPhone 12 Pro in Pacific Blue on right via Engadget Key new features of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro include a flat-edge design, 5G support, a much faster A14 ...

Some Apple Watch SE Owners Experiencing Issues With Overheating [Updated]

Monday October 19, 2020 11:38 am PDT by
There may be an issue with the new Apple Watch SE, which some users have found is overheating after a few hours of usage. Several Apple Watch SE owners in South Korea have run into problems, as noted in a Reddit post chronicling the complaints. There have been six reports from Apple Watch SE owners in South Korea who have had their Apple Watches get hot and malfunction, with a yellow spot...

Gold Version of iPhone 12 Pro Apparently Has a More Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel Frame

Tuesday October 20, 2020 11:56 am PDT by
iPhone 12 Pro reviews hit the web today, and one of the more interesting tidbits came from TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino, who revealed that the Gold version of the device apparently has a more fingerprint resistant coating applied to the stainless steel frame. From his review:Most of the iPhone 12 Pro finishes still use a physical vapor deposition process for edge coating. But the new gold...

iPhone 12 Pro Max Has Smaller 3,687 mAh Battery According to Regulatory Filing

Tuesday October 20, 2020 8:48 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro Max is equipped with a 3,687 mAh battery, which is around 7% less capacity than the 3,969 mAh battery in the iPhone 11 Pro Max, according to a regulatory filing published by TENAA, the Chinese equivalent of the FCC. The regulatory filing, spotted by MacRumors, also lists the iPhone 12 Pro Max with 6GB of RAM as seen in benchmark results last week. Apple has filed ...

Hands-On With Apple's iPhone 12 and 12 Pro MagSafe Cases

Tuesday October 20, 2020 1:33 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are launching this Friday, and ahead of that release date, Apple is shipping out various accessories like the MagSafe charger and MagSafe cases. Yesterday we took a look at the MagSafe charger, and today our MagSafe case came in the mail, so we thought we'd take another look at the charger to see how it works with the case and just how strong the case magnets are. S ...