Weak iPhone 5c Demand May Be Slowing China Mobile iPhone Deal

With China Mobile, the world's largest carrier, having launched its new 4G LTE network without announcing an iPhone deal, questions have arisen about why an agreement has not yet been reached after many years of negotiations and evidence indicating that the necessary hardware is available and approved for sale.

According to a new report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the deal may have been slowed by the unexpectedly weak demand for the iPhone 5c relative to the iPhone 5s among China Mobile customers. According to Kuo's survey numbers, interest in the iPhone 5c from China Mobile customers has fallen precipitously from earlier expectations while iPhone 5s interest has remained high, and that unexpected mix of customer preference may be leading China Mobile and Apple to a renegotiation of an agreement that was nearly settled.

While previously we estimated that Apple originally planned the TD-LTE version would account for 30% of total iPhone 5C shipments, our latest survey indicates that demand for the TD-LTE iPhone 5C has declined dramatically due to 5S being far more popular than 5C among China Mobile subscribers. As such, we estimate iPhone 5C shipments of the TD-LTE version for China Mobile at 1.0-1.5mn units in 4Q13 and under 1.0mn units in 1Q14, well below Apple’s original production plan.

We believe this would necessitate a re-negotiation of the Apple-China Mobile deal and therefore defer its finalization.

kuo_iphone_sales_4q13_1q14
Kuo also remains conservative in his predictions of the impact of a China Mobile deal on Apple's iPhone shipment numbers for the first quarter of 2014, believing that the launch of the new TD-LTE model for China Mobile will be offset by falling sales in other markets around the world as momentum slows in the months following the iPhone 5s and 5c launches in those countries.

Related Forum: iPhone

Popular Stories

6chatgpt mac app

5 Reasons to Use OpenAI's ChatGPT App for Mac

Thursday May 23, 2024 6:07 am PDT by
On May 13, OpenAI during its Spring Update announced that it would be releasing a desktop ChatGPT app for the Mac in the "coming weeks," and said that ahead of a wider launch it had started rolling out the app to some ChatGPT Plus subscribers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. After testing the app for a few days, we thought it was worth sharing some reasons why...
new best buy blue

Best Buy's Memorial Day Sale Has Record Low Prices on iPads, MacBooks, and Much More

Friday May 24, 2024 7:12 am PDT by
Best Buy today kicked off its Memorial Day weekend sale, and it has some of the best prices we've tracked in weeks on iPads and MacBooks. Specifically, you'll find record low prices on the 5th generation iPad Air, iPad mini 6, M2 MacBook Air, and M3 MacBook Pro. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment,...
macOS 15 Feature

macOS 15 System Settings to Get Design Overhaul

Thursday May 23, 2024 12:51 pm PDT by
With the macOS 15 update that is set to debut at WWDC in June, Apple plans to rearrange "menus and app UIs," according to a report from AppleInsider. The System Settings app, which was last updated with macOS Ventura, will get one of the biggest updates. With macOS Ventura, Apple renamed the System Preferences app to System Settings, introducing a design similar to the Settings app on the...
iPhone 16 Pro Max Generic Feature 2

5 Biggest Changes Rumored for iPhone 16 Pro Max

Tuesday May 21, 2024 7:29 am PDT by
Given Apple's rumored plan to add an all-new high-end tier to its iPhone 17 series in 2025, this could be the year for Apple to bring its boldest "Pro Max" model to the table — the kind of iPhone 16 upgrade that stands tall above its siblings, both figuratively and literally. If you have been holding out for the iPhone 16 Pro Max, here are five of the biggest changes rumored to be coming...

Top Rated Comments

Klae17 Avatar
136 months ago
Why does anyone believe a single word Kuo says?

Because he has been right many times and has access to better information than you do.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Technarchy Avatar
136 months ago
For starters- https://www.macrumors.com/2012/07/23/tweaked-ipad-and-new-ipad-mini-said-to-closely-follow-next-generation-iphone-launch/

Also- https://www.macrumors.com/2012/07/24/13-inch-retina-macbook-pro-and-updated-imacs-reportedly-due-in-september-october/

And- https://www.macrumors.com/2012/04/23/apple-predicted-to-discontinue-17-inch-macbook-pro/

Another one- https://www.macrumors.com/2013/08/19/iphone-5c-predicted-to-replace-iphone-5-iphone-4s-sales-to-continue/

Convinced yet? :D

If I cared enough to make the effort of looking, there are probably dozens of posts on this forum from people saying the exact same thing.

Here's a prediction, Apple will release iphone 6 next year and it will sell out and be in high demand...I'll bump this in a year and I'm saying it way before Kuo. Call me Nostradamus.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dannyyankou Avatar
136 months ago
Right about what?

For starters- https://www.macrumors.com/2012/07/23/tweaked-ipad-and-new-ipad-mini-said-to-closely-follow-next-generation-iphone-launch/

Also- https://www.macrumors.com/2012/07/24/13-inch-retina-macbook-pro-and-updated-imacs-reportedly-due-in-september-october/

And- https://www.macrumors.com/2012/04/23/apple-predicted-to-discontinue-17-inch-macbook-pro/

Another one- https://www.macrumors.com/2013/08/19/iphone-5c-predicted-to-replace-iphone-5-iphone-4s-sales-to-continue/

Convinced yet? :D
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
136 months ago
So Ming-Chi Kuo is speculating based on some survey he did. How is that newsworthy? I swear this guy takes a leak and the rumor sites run it on their front page as news. :rolleyes:
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Technarchy Avatar
136 months ago
Why does anyone believe a single word Kuo says?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
136 months ago
Nice job spreading around the FUD Ming (and Mac Rumors).

China Mobile & Apple Bring iPhone to China Mobile’s 4G & 3G Networks on January 17, 2014 (http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2013/12/22China-Mobile-Apple-Bring-iPhone-to-China-Mobiles-4G-3G-Networks-on-January-17-2014.html)

----------

The issue is the 5s is seen as premium device over the plastic 5c.

So basically the 5C haters are just plastic snobs who thumb their nose at it because it's not metal. Even though both the 3G and 3GS under Steve Jobs were plastic. I guess those weren't premium phones either then?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)