China Mobile to Begin iPhone Pre-Orders on December 12

China Mobile has stated that it will begin taking preorders for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c this coming Thursday, December 12 on its website and at some of its locations in Shanghai, reports The Wall Street Journal. The move was revealed through a screenshot of a section on the company's website that invited customers to pre-order the iPhone 5s and other smartphones with a "4G is here" slogan, with the information being followed up by a customer service representative.

china_mobile_subsidary_iphone5c5s

“Customers can begin to preorder for our new 4G services from Dec. 12 through the company’s website and some dedicated branches in Shanghai. But we will only start providing commercial 4G services after Dec. 18,” the customer services operator said.

Last week, The Wall Street Journal also reported that Apple and China Mobile finally reached a deal that would allow the iPhone to be sold on the world's biggest mobile carrier, with a China Mobile spokesperson later telling Reuters that the two companies were still “negotiating“. Apple and China Mobile have been in talks for several years, and CEO Tim Cook traveled to China to meet with China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua back in July where the two made headway on a potential deal.

News of a finalized deal has been expected since September, as the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c were the first iPhones supporting China Mobile's TD-LTE standard. Apple also received the final license it needed to operate on China Mobile’s wireless standard back in September following the launch of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.

Tag: wsj.com

Top Rated Comments

kindadukish Avatar
103 months ago
Polite

Ha ha, that headline on the Chinese ad -- the one that starts in black type and then goes red -- is a common polite expression which means "Sorry, I made you wait a long time."

Re China Mobile subscribers already having iPhones it's true. In China, and Asia in general, the cell phone system is totally different. Generally you buy an unlocked phone and then get a SIM card from your carrier. So tens of millions have bought iPhones and then got a China Mobile SIM for it -- the only difference with China Unicom being that you could buy an iPhone in an actual China Unicom store.

However, there's a key difference in the service. The iPhone worked on China Unicom's "fast" network (fast by Chinese standards -- 3G I believe) but on China Mobile you were stuck on 2G (China Mobile's fast network was incompatible with the iPhone). A huge difference in speed. I mean: the difference between a usable smart phone and sitting there 3 minutes waiting to download one email. With the official rollout on China Mobile, I'm assuming the iPhone will now work on the faster China Mobile network.

You may wonder why people who wanted a fast-network iPhone didn't switch to China Unicom. The reason is that China does not have phone number portability. So to switch to Unicom you would have to get a new phone number. Since the cell phone is a key expression and embodiment of individuality in China (for instance, for young people, for whom it is still common to live with parents until marriage, your cell phone is often your own true "personal space"), changing a phone number is considered a much more troublesome task than it is here in the US.

So, although it's true there are millions with iPhones already on China Mobile, this should indeed generate a lot of business in China from:

-- People who just want the latest thing (that's a lot of folks in China!)
-- People already on China Mobile who have been putting off buying an iPhone until they could get on the fast network (probably not that many)
-- People already on China Mobile with an iPhone who now want to upgrade to use the faster network (many millions, surely). Some overlap in this category with the first category of course. There are definitely millions already on China Mobile with an iPhone 4 who have been putting off buying an iPhone 5 because they have heard talk about an official release for a long time (years, in fact).

So it's rather complicated to explain, but the bottom line is: very very good for Apple, but not as big as you might think without knowing the details.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
everything-i Avatar
103 months ago
But last week when this first came out Apple stock was only up a couple bucks that day. Even today it's only up $2 pre market. So either Wall Street has already priced this in or they're waiting for an official announcement from Apple.

While the deal would likely cause some upward movement it probably won't move too much until some sales figures come in. China is a difficult market and just being in there is not necessarily enough.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple Corps Avatar
103 months ago
Seriously, how much does the average chinese worker make?
Seriously, how much do you really know about China, Asia or other parts of the world and different cultures?

Perhaps you have spent too much time living under a rock somewhere. Your post i#11 s one of the most ill informed, negative rants I have read in recent memory.

You really need to think about all that terrible bile you have built up inside of yourself.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
johnhf Avatar
103 months ago

Seriously, under a communist regime, I don't know how their people can afford them.
I am sure none of the fine workers Foxed&Conned who make the iPhones are able to afford them.
Do you want to know how many work for the mob, corrupt government officials, slave drivers, or environment poachers? Count the iPhones.

China is no longer a communist regime. They used to be a totalitarian communist regime. Now they are just a totalitarian regime. Capitalism without democracy is running wild in China today.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
158274 Avatar
103 months ago
Seriously, how much does the average chinese worker make?

My friend, you have been duped into believing that everyone in China lives a miserable life and that the majority of the people live under awful conditions. You probably also believe the same thing about Africa, with added words like "starving" and "disease".

The truth is, there are people thriving everywhere across the world and there are people who are not thriving everywhere across the world. China is not as under-developed and poor and rural and miserable as the media would perhaps like you to believe.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
keysofanxiety Avatar
103 months ago
Those tacky-colored phones with tacky-colored icons and screens are PERFECT for the chinese taste. But, they would have to get used to the lack to toxic chemicals and forced labor that went to make them. Except for the 5S, thank you Apple for selling crap back to china. :roll eyes:

Seriously, under a communist regime, I don't know how their people can afford them.
I am sure none of the fine workers Foxed&Conned who make the iPhones are able to afford them.
Do you want to know how many work for the mob, corrupt government officials, slave drivers, or environment poachers? Count the iPhones.

Jesus man, take a breath. Calm down. It's okay. *pat*
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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