updated 09:20 am EDT, Mon April 14, 2008
Apple, China Mobile gap
Apple and China's largest cellular company, China Mobile, have yet to begin formal negotiations over the iPhone in spite of mutual interests, say reports. The latter company's chairman, Wang Jianzhou, revealed the information at this weekend's Boao Forum conference, explaining that there is no current timeframe for a Chinese iPhone. He further states that while the companies may have had informal conversations in the past, disputes over business models have kept the two corporations from making progress.
"Our door will remain open as long as there is customer demand," Jianzhou promised.
It is generally believed that the major problem may be Apple itself, which has typically been able to dictate the terms of iPhone sales, but may have encountered two obstacles unique to the Chinese market. Chinese companies are first said to refuse revenue-sharing agreements with phone makers as a rule; secondly, the 16GB iPhone ($499) costs twice the average salary of a Chinese worker, which could make even the 8GB version too expensive for all but a wealthy minority.