Copyright © 2016
Tag - China Mobile
At a recent conference, representatives from China Mobile claimed that among their plans for the new year was a new four-inch iPhone from Apple that they called the "iPhone 7c," which would debut in April. While the claim of an April debut falls in line with previous rumors about a new or revamped four-inch device, it's unclear if the company's spokespeople are assuming the rumors are true, or if they have been briefed on the product and spoke about it accidentally.
China Mobile, the top carrier in China with over 800 million subscribers (and more than 20 million LTE users), opened pre-orders for the iPhone 6 to Beijing customers on Tuesday. Surprisingly, the carrier has seemingly confirmed the existence of two models, at 4.7 and 5.5 inches, and reported over 33,000 preorders in the first few hours. Customers can also save a place in line for the (unrevealed) debut date through the company's website.
The head of the world's largest cellular provider, China Mobile's CEO Li Yue, has revealed that about half of the 2.8 million TD-LTE "4G" subscribers on his network are iPhone users. While dwarfed by the total number of customers China Mobile has -- some 780 million -- the figure suggest that the iPhone is the preferred brand as Chinese customers transition from "feature" phones to LTE-capable smartphones.
Apple has revealed that China Mobile and its other Chinese telecom partners -- along with its own stores and resellers -- are carrying a special model of the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display that is specific to the Chinese market, and compatible with the country's proprietary TD-SCDMA wireless standard, meaning new iPad buyers can now use the tablets on China's limited TD-LTE cellular network, which is mostly limited to the biggest cities. The Chinese iPads are separate models from the ones sold outside China.
China Mobile added some 1 million new iPhone customers during the month of February, according to the company's annual earnings statement. Despite being the world's largest wireless carrier, it only formally launched iPhone sales in mid-January, well after rivals China Unicom and China Telecom. "We are happy with the progress as we are still building our 4G network and the coverage is only available in some major cities," comments China Mobile chairman Xi Gouhua.
China Mobile added 14 million more high-speed data subscribers in January, a growth faster than at any other time in its history, according to data from Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White. The 7.4 percent increase is attributed mainly to the iPhone, which Mobile started selling on January 17th. In December, by contrast, Mobile's high-speed base grew by less than 6 percent.
Apple is now the fifth-largest cellphone maker in China, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal based on numbers from analyst firm IDC. The iPhone maker leapt a full percentage point in the last quarter of 2013 on the strength of its iPhone 5s and 5c, and the report does not even include sales from China Mobile, with which Apple finally inked a deal in December. The surge in sales moved the iPhone into a seven percent share of the smartphone market.
Apple's iPhones have formally arrived on China Mobile, the world's largest carrier and China's largest provider. The iPhone went on sale Friday morning in Beijing and other locations, with stores fulfilling long-awaited pre-orders of the iPhone (the 5s in particular) that have been gathered since mid-December. Foxconn is said to have delivered approximately 1.4 million iPhone 5s units to China Mobile recently, possibly an indication of strong pre-orders.
Apple CEO Tim Cook made a rare TV appearance on Wednesday in order to discuss the company's impending launch of the iPhone on China Mobile. Cook sat alongside Mobile chairman Xi Guohua during an interview with CNBC. The former called the deal a "watershed day," and claimed that Mobile has a "very fast network." He also spoke of "deep respect" for the carrier, adding that he's been "incredibly impressed" so far.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is said to be "incredibly optimistic" over the multi-year agreement the company made with China Mobile last month. Ahead of the impending launch of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c on the mobile phone network on January 17th, Cook hinted that there could be more collaboration between the carrier and Apple in the future.