updated 09:15 am EDT, Tue September 2, 2008
Apple, China Mobile ready?
Apple and China Mobile are in fact in the "final stages" of negotiations for brining the iPhone to China, writes the state-owned 21st Century Business Herald. The account follows a report from China Communications, which claimed similar progress in talks, and that China Mobile was ready to provide a hefty subsidy, similar to that provided in other countries. The assistance is particularly important in China, where the majority cannot afford an unsubsidized smartphone.
China Mobile's CEO is said to be cautious about revealing information. "[Apple CEO] Steve Jobs and I hope the iPhone will enter China as soon as possible," Wang Jianzhou told reporters today. "We are discussing this issue but we do not have an agreement." Jianzhou further explained that he is under a non-disclosure clause.
Forbes comments that reaching China may be extremely profitable for Apple, as while much of the region cannot afford a smartphone, China Mobile alone has 415 million cellular subscribers. At least a small portion of that number should be able to afford a subsidized iPhone.