News / Asia

Apple, China Mobile Sign Long-awaited iPhone Deal

FILE - A worker cleans the windows in front of an iPhone 5C advertisement at an Apple store in Kunming, Yunnan province, China.
FILE - A worker cleans the windows in front of an iPhone 5C advertisement at an Apple store in Kunming, Yunnan province, China.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— Apple Inc said it has signed a long-awaited agreement with China Mobile Ltd to sell iPhones through the world's biggest network of mobile phone users.
 
In a deal that could add billions of dollars to its revenue, Apple said its smartphones will be available to China Mobile customers starting January 17. Pricing and availability details for the iPhone 5S and 5C lines will be disclosed at a later date, it said in a statement.
 
China Mobile, which has about 760 million customers, will begin registering orders for iPhones from December 25, the company said on its account on the Sina-Weibo micro-blogging service.
 
The tie-up between the pair, in the U.S. company's second-largest market after its home turf, provides a much-needed boost for Apple in a market where it's trailing rivals. It will also give Apple extra firepower in its increasing global rivalry with South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.
 
Apple didn't disclose financial terms of the agreement. Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive, said in its statement that China is an extremely important market for the Cupertino-based company.
 
In a smartphone market that's booming, Apple's sales have trailed those of its competitors. Shipments of iPhones in the country grew 32 percent year-on-year for the third quarter, about half of China's Lenovo Group Ltd, which had the next slowest growth at 64 percent year-on-year.
 
Samsung battle
 
China Mobile could gain 17 million new iPhone activations in 2014 alone, according to research firm Forrester - more than double the 16.8 million iPhones Apple sold in mainland China for the 12 months that ended September, according to Forrester data.
 
But after an expected initial surge, Apple is likely to find itself back in a costly marketing battle with Samsung Electronics.
 
The deal has been years in the making, with numerous visits by Apple to the state-owned carrier's Beijing headquarters. Negotiations have been tricky, in part because of disagreements over details like revenue-sharing, analysts have said.
 
China Mobile was the only Chinese carrier not to offer customers the iPhone up to now due to compatibility issues with the carrier's 3G wireless technology, known as TD-SCDMA.
 
On December 4, Chinese regulators awarded 4G wireless licenses to China Mobile Ltd, China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd and China Telecom Corp Ltd, removing the final stumbling block to a deal that industry observers had long expected. The latest iPhone models support 4G technology known as TD-LTE.
 
China Mobile estimates it does already have about 45 million iPhone users on its network. But these subscribers can only use the company's slower 2G wireless speeds because of the incompatibility with its proprietary 3G technology.
 
Shares of Apple on Friday closed at $549.02 while U.S. shares of China Mobile ended at $51.63.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: mds from: msuozzi@gmail.com
December 23, 2013 5:38 AM
Don't forget the market for refurbished phones; which will attract 100M potential customers to the 100M that can afford them new!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid