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Execs: Chinese iPhone still distant

updated 09:20 am EST, Wed November 14, 2007

Chinese iPhone distant?

In spite of speculation to the contrary, China is unlikely to carry iPhones in the near future, some executives from the country suggest. One executive, China Mobile CEO Wang Jiangzhou, yesterday claimed that his company was in talks with Apple for carrying the device; this pushed Apple stock up 10 percent, and China Mobile's up by nine. This is now being challenged an anonymous senior telecom executive, who tells Reuters that Apple will have a problem with Chinese SIM card technology, which is normally unlocked. Apple has so far insisted that iPhones be attached to a single domestic carrier, and has in fact twice undone attempts to unlock the American version.

The executive also notes that revenue sharing is literally a foreign concept. "Secondly," he says, "our business model does not entail sharing revenue with terminal producers -- we don't share revenue. That's a Chinese rule. All it is right now, on the iPhone and Apple, is that the firm welcomes their approach."

Li Zhengmao, the executive director of China's other wireless carrier, China Unicorn, says that his company does not have any plans to bring the iPhone to the country. "But of course," he cautions, "we're always willing to discuss a good business opportunity if it presents itself."

Zhengmao argues that the iPhone will succeed in China so long as it has Mandarin text messaging; Gartner analyst Sandy Shen, however, believes that China Mobile will strongly resist any attempts at enforcing revenue sharing, and that for most Chinese, a legal iPhone will be far too expensive. The iPhone costs an average of $500, but in China, this equates to twice the average worker's monthly salary. At present, there is not even a Chinese version of the iTunes Store, Shen comments.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. zac4mac

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    what a weird world...

    The damn phones are MADE in China and they can't buy/use them??

    Z

  1. libraryguy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    sucks

    Basically, they can't afford them so that we can afford them. It's sad but true.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    1.3 billion people

    Don't forget Hong Kong and 1% of the total population that can afford it still makes for a potentially huge market.

  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    oh really?

    "our business model does not entail sharing revenue"

    I think AT&T would have said the same thing a year ago.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    they won't bend

    I think there is some confusion here. Yes, its true, that if you AVERAGE out wages, that the average wage is low...

    But that makes zero sense to do, in this discussion.

    When you sell an item...you determine the likely market for it. of the 1.2 billion people in China, the first billion cannot afford it. But you take the 'average wage' of the top 200 million earners, and the average wage doesn't look as bad. And in fact, the real number to look for, is just the actual number who can afford the iPhone.

    It's large enough to be a major market.

    But it doesn't matter, because the Chinese aren't going to go for the revenue sharing and many of the other severe negatives of the iPhone, and good for them.

    Apple doesn't need to make $800 per phone, its an absurdity. This isn't a gift from the cell phone companies...its in fact covered by the monthly bill.

    The person being so generous, is YOU, the iPhone purchaser.

    I agree with the Chinese on this one.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    @elroth

    AT&T and China....cannot be compared. You may convince the Chinese...you are right, but it will be 40 years from now, not in 1 year. I'll wager on that one.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Huh?

    What do they mean by this? The way I understand it, the iPhone is already available and prevalent in China. And really cheap.

    h***, its such a commodity, you can buy it on any street corner.

  1. zac4mac

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    RTFA

    "and that for most Chinese, a legal iPhone will be far too expensive."

    Notice the little word in the middle... LEGAL

    Z

  1. JulesLt

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    sharing?When we can take?

    >we don't share revenue. That's a Chinese rule. As if we didn't notice! 'We will share your revenue, thank you'.

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