Apple Shipping Low-Cost iPhone to China Mobile

After years of ongoing negotiations, it appears that Apple and China Mobile have finally reached a deal that will see China's largest carrier offer the iPhone. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple is currently preparing to ship the new low-cost iPhone "5C" to the carrier.

A deal would cap years of negotiations between the two companies. Apple has tried to hammer out a deal with China's largest wireless carrier that has 700 million subscribers, seven times the size of the U.S.'s largest wireless carrier Verizon Wireless. Greater China is Apple's third biggest market after the U.S. and Europe in terms of sales.

Apple has asked Foxconn, its longtime contract manufacturing partner, to add China Mobile to the list of carriers slated to receive a new low-cost iPhone, one of these people said. It isn't clear when the phones would be delivered.

Reaching a deal with China Mobile has not been an easy feat for Apple, and the two companies have been in negotiations and talks for more than two years.

low_cost_iphone_render_colors

Rendering of Apple's Low-Cost iPhone 5C

Much of the problem stemmed from China Mobile's use of TD-SCDMA, which Apple's iPhones have not previously supported, though revenue share terms were also an issue. Tim Cook met with China Mobile officials several times over the course of the year and in August, China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua reported that the company was close to achieving an agreement with Apple.

Apple's lower-cost iPhone, which has been developed primarily for emerging markets like China, is expected to carry a price tag between $400 to $500, making it more affordable than alternatives like the upcoming flagship iPhone 5S. Apple will announce its new iPhone lineup on September 10, with an event to follow in Beijing on September 11.

While China Unicom and China Telecom are expected to receive the iPhone on September 20, China Mobile's launch could come somewhat later because of the need for regulatory approval on the TD-SCDMA compatible iPhone.

Update: According to Bloomberg, a deal is close to being finalized, but it will not be announced during the September 10 iPhone event.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
90 months ago
...and one of the last strongholds/strangleholds of Android is about to fall.

Folks...the marketshare % is about to take a drastic swing worldwide.

It already had shifted in the US when T-Mobile finally got the iPhone 5 in the spring leaving Android in the USA no place to hide.

With the iPhone appearing on more and more carriers where Android has had exclusivity is going to bring their % tumbling down.

Can't wait for the analysts to try to spin this one.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
90 months ago

Oh get off it already. It would be a great disservice to us if the market became >90% iPhone.


But of course it's fine if its 90% Android, right?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
90 months ago

Why do you assume they will choose an iPhone by default? They are probably more than happy with how open Android is, so while I am sure iPhone sales will pick up I doubt this is the Android crusher you believe it will be.


Because the same assumptions have been made everywhere and everywhere the iPhone appears, it takes the majority of % of share.

They said the same thing about T-Mobile. iPhone has been out for a while and T-Mobile is more Android type people. And low and behold, iPhone takes the #1 sales slot from them also. People want the iPhone and with the new 5c, it's even more reasons for the mid range/low to possibly buy it.

I guess we'll see right?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
90 months ago

...and one of the last strongholds/strangleholds of Android is about to fall. Folks...the marketshare % is about to take a drastic swing worldwide. It already has shifted in the US when T-Mobile finally got it and Android no longer had a place to hide.

Oh get off it already. It would be a great disservice to us if the market became >90% iPhone.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
90 months ago
Apple shares are going to go up massively when this happens
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
90 months ago
We get it. China Mobile is getting the iPhone. Yay.

Larger screen please.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 4: Apple TV Widget, Search Improvements, Exposure Notification API and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 11:14 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth developer betas of iOS and iPadOS 14 for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features and design changes included in the update. Changes get smaller and less notable as the beta testing period goes on, but there are still some noteworthy new features in the fourth beta, which we've highlighted below. - Apple TV widget - There's a new Apple TV...

Apple May Launch This Year's 'iPhone 12' Lineup in Two Stages, With 6.1-inch Models Debuting First

Monday August 3, 2020 3:14 am PDT by
Apple last week confirmed that its "‌iPhone‌ 12" launch will be delayed this year due to the ongoing global health crisis and restrictions on travel. Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later," suggesting a release sometime in October. We're expecting a total of four OLED iPhones in 5.4, 6.1, and...

Apple Explains Why You Might See 'Not Charging' When a Mac is Plugged In

Monday August 3, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
If you have a Mac and have seen a "Not Charging" warning when plugging it in to power, Apple last week released a support document that explains why. Macs running macOS 10.15.5 or later have a Battery Health Management feature to preserve the life of the battery, and occasionally, the Battery Health Management option will cause the Mac to pause its charging for calibration purposes.Depending ...

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE

Wednesday August 5, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by
Google this week launched its newest smartphone, the $349 Pixel 4a, a low-cost device that's designed to compete with other affordable devices like Apple's iPhone SE. We picked up one of the new Pixel 4a smartphones and thought we'd check it out to see how it measures up to the iPhone SE, given that the two devices have such similar price points. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Samsung Launches Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Z Fold 2, and Galaxy Buds to Compete With Apple's iPhones and AirPods Pro

Wednesday August 5, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
Samsung today held a virtual Galaxy Unpacked event where it unveiled its next-generation smartphones that will compete with Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup, set to come out in the fall. Samsung announced the launch of the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the two newest devices in the Note lineup, and, more notably, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung's latest foldable smartphone. The...

Alleged 'iPhone 12' Images Depict Circular Array of Magnets in Chassis

Wednesday August 5, 2020 4:39 am PDT by
New images shared on Weibo appear to show a circular array of magnets housed inside an "iPhone 12" chassis. The unverified images depict 36 individual magnets in a circular arrangement, suggesting they could be related to mounting or charging. EverythingApplePro, who shared the Weibo-originating images on Twitter, also posted an image of an alleged iPhone 12 case with a similar array of...