updated 10:40 am EST, Fri November 30, 2007
Apple, China Mobile spat?
Apple and phone carrier China Mobile have reportedly broken off negotations over the iPhone, according to one publication. Chinese newspaper Southern Daily cites anonymous sources, who claim that talks begun earlier this month have already ended, and that Apple is instead moving on to other cellphone distributors. If Apple successfully forms a deal, iPhones could go on sale in China as soon as next summer, in new retail stores opening in Beijing. The failure of the negotiations is being blamed on revenue sharing; as some observers have noted, revenue sharing is simply not practiced in China, while Apple has so far managed to secure lucrative sharing agreements with other networks such as AT&T.
Speaking with Bloomberg however, China Mobile insists that the Southern Daily story is false, and that negotiations are still very much in progress. Apple does not have many options when it comes to China, as the only other established wireless carrier is China Unicorn. The iPhone may also have to go on sale there at a lower profit margin, since the American version can easily cost twice a Chinese worker's monthly salary.