AAPL Stock: 117.81 ( -0.22 )

Printed from

WSJ: Apple has signed deal with China Mobile for latest iPhones

updated 11:18 pm EST, Wed December 4, 2013

Report hinges on single, unnamed source, but signs are there

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a formal agreement between Apple and the world's largest -- and up till recently, the biggest iPhone holdout -- carrier, China Mobile, has been signed. The story is confirmed only by a single, unnamed source -- normally a violation of journalistic standards -- but other evidence to support the contention has appeared, including a pre-order site connected to China Mobile serving a wealthy Shanghai suburb and state media announcements.

While the iPhone has been available for quite some time on the country's second- and third-largest carriers, Apple has been pushing for a deal with the carrier for going on six years. China Mobile actually has admitted to having over 15 million iPhone users already on its network despite its lack of support, but until recently such users were limited to EDGE-like 2G data speeds because previous models were incompatible with the company's TD-SCDMA 3G technology. Only the recent iPhone models are compatible with the TD-LTE "4G" techology that has finally allowed a deal to come together.

Earlier this week, a website connected to China Mobile opened for pre-orders on the latest iPhones, reinforcing a common rumored debut date of December 18 for the partnership to formally begin. Earlier reports from the state-controlled Xinhua News Agency also pegged the iPhone's China Mobile debut on the same day -- with the iPhone 5c and 5s debuting for the first time. In addition, all of the top three carriers have been awarded licenses to use TD-LTE in the country, meaning a substantive portion of China's major cities and urban areas will have access to high-speed cellular data that is compatible with the latest iPhones.

As of October, China Mobile alone had some 759 million subscribers, though many are still on feature-phone devices rather than smartphones. However, China's middle class is rapidly expanding compared to the shrinking US middle class, making it a vital growth market for Apple and its rivals. By way of comparison, America's largest cellular provider -- Verizon -- has a customer base just one-seventh as large.

by MacNN Staff



Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Ultimate Ears Megaboom Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears (now owned by Logitech) has found great success in the marketplace with its "Boom" series of Bluetooth speakers, a mod ...

Kinivo URBN Premium Bluetooth Headphones

We love music, and we're willing to bet that you do, too. If you're like us, you probably spend a good portion of your time wearing ...

Jamstik+ MIDI Controller

For a long time the MIDI world has been dominated by keyboard-inspired controllers. Times are changing however, and we are slowly star ...


Most Commented