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.

cook china mobile
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

ULFoaf Avatar
138 months ago
Seen better pictures of Bigfoot.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bonch Avatar
138 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)
hglk Avatar
138 months ago
Look!! I found him too!!!!!!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cvaldes Avatar
138 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)
0815 Avatar
138 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)
aristotle Avatar
138 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)

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