updated 09:20 am EDT, Fri June 27, 2008
Apple, China Mobile warm
Past divisions between Apple and cellular carrier China Mobile are narrowing, Reuters reports. For months, informal talks to bring the iPhone to China have been stalled, as the two companies could not agree on fundamental points of interest. These have been resolved, says China Mobile spokeswoman Rainie Lei. The largest obstacle is said to have been revenue sharing, something Chinese companies do not practice as a rule.
"Apple is no longer insisting on a revenue-sharing policy, so the biggest hurdle for China Mobile to bring in the iPhone has been cleared," says Lei, "but there are practical issues still to be resolved."
Apple has abolished revenue-sharing agreements in most if not all cases for the iPhone 3G, instead opting for carriers to subsidize the price of the phone. Remaining issues are likely to include distribution, adapting cellular frequencies, and pricing. Most Chinese workers are drastically underpaid compared to First World counterparts, and at $499, a 16GB, 2.5G iPhone would cost twice China's average monthly salary.