Company's growth rate slips
Apple remains in first place on an annual BrandZ ranking of the world's most valuable brands, notes MarketingWeek. Apple's brand is estimated to be worth $185.071 billion, putting it well ahead of next-closest rivals Google ($113.669 billion) and IBM ($112.536 billion). Other companies in the top 10 include McDonald's, Coca-Cola, AT&T, Microsoft, Marlboro, Visa, and China Mobile.
Carrier aims squarely at iPhone support
China Mobile has announced plans to spend $6.7 billion in developing its 4G LTE network during 2013, Reuters says. The carrier adds that it expects to have licenses by the end of the year; Reuters indicates that the company is aiming explicitly at supporting the iPhone, which is incompatible with its 3G network. Mobile uses a proprietary 3G standard, TD-SCDMA, which has so far led Apple to favor Mobile's rivals, China Unicom and China Telecom.
Host of new hardware features predicted, China model too
New speculation by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has a new flagship iPhone "5S" model arriving in early summer, alongside a redesigned version often referred to as a "low cost" iPhone because it will be more affordable in instalment payments than the current price of a new iPhone model, and made of cheaper materials. The new iPhone models, he says, will also be compatible with China's TD-DLTE and TD-SCDMA networks, be offered by China Mobile, and will offer a host of new features -- reiterating his earlier predictions.
Expects 80-percent of 2013 TD-SCDMA sales to be smartphones
China Mobile has sold over 60 million TD-SCDMA-based mobile devices during 2012, the company revealed today. Wang Hengjiang, deputy general manager of products for China Mobile, made the claim at Qualcomm's QRD Summit in Shenzen, including that at least seven million of that total came from sales in December alone.
May hint at advancement on iPhone deal
(Updated with cellular iPad mini launch info) As a part of his ongoing tour of China, Apple CEO Tim Cook has met with the chairman of China Mobile, Xi Guohua, Reuters reports. A Mobile spokesman will only say that the two talked about "matters of cooperation" at the carrier's headquarters earlier today, and that no further details can be given out because of a confidentiality agreement. Despite being the world's biggest phone carrier in terms of subscribers, China Mobile is the only national Chinese carrier without the iPhone.
Remarks from president claims business issues, not technical, to blame
Yue Li, the president of China Mobile, confirmed at its Worldwide Developer's Conference that business issues are holding up agreements with Apple -- preventing the iPhone from reaching China's largest cellphone provider's network. Li confirmed that the company had been negotiating with Apple since 2009, and was close to reaching a contract in 2011.
Could impact Apple sales, China Mobile launch
If Apple is in fact holding an iPhone event on September 12th, it could create some unexpected problems, an investor memo from Sterne Agee's Shaw Wu indicates. Based on "supplier checks," the analyst notes that he only expects volume production of iPhones to happen in late September. If so that could meant that while suppliers will make a fair amount of money in the September quarter, Apple itself won't see a substantial amount of money until the December quarter.
Would extend iPhone's 'world phone' status
The next-generation iPhone will likely not only support standard 3G and 4G networks, but also the China Mobile version of 3G, TD-SCDMA, says Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu. Based on "supply chain work" by his firm, Wu suggests that the next iPhone will expand on the world phone status of the iPhone 4S by adding both LTE 4G and TD-SCDMA. China Mobile is the only carrier in the world to use TD-SCDMA, something that has so far interfered with iPhone compatibility.
Carrier losing subscribers due to native 3G standard
China Mobile is in talks with Apple to offer the iPhone, confirms Mobile chairman Xi Guohua. The executive made the statement on Wednesday at a shareholder meeting in Hong Kong, his first since replacing Wang Jianzhou, who retired in March. Apple has refused to comment, and Xi didn't elaborate much further at the meeting, saying he couldn't predict if a deal would be reached this year. "China Mobile and Apple both have the will to strengthen cooperation," he commented. "When there is more specific news, we will disclose it."
China Mobile deploys early LTE
China Mobile took its first tentative steps into LTE on Friday with a launch plan for service in Hong Kong. The 100Mbps service will be active as of April 25. At least two 4G phones will be available the same day as the service, Bloomberg was told, with a total of 10 reaching the market by the end of 2012.
HTC T328 line exports One ideas to China
HTC has expanded its 2012 phone line by reviving the Desire name for a trio of smartphones that will land in China. Caught by ePrice, the VT T328t, VC T328d, and V T328w are closest in spirit to the One V but improve on it, carrying larger four-inch (though still 480x800) screens. All four share Android 4.0 with the new streamlined Sense 4.0 as well as a 1GHz single-core Snapdragon, a five-megapixel rear camera, 4GB of built-in space plus a microSD slot, and Beats Audio.
Samsung has 24pc of China sartphones
Gartner on Sunday revealed the extent to which Apple's share of China's smartphones trailed others. Although Apple leads worldwide, it sat at 7.5 percent, or fifth place, in China's sphere. Samsung, in the lead at 24.3 percent, had over three times as much share.
China may delay full LTE rollouts for years
Hopes for a quick LTE deployment in China were possibly quashed after Ministroy of Industry and Information Technology leader Miao Wei said in an interview that licenses would have to wait. He thought it probable that the government would wait two to three years before it gave licenses for local TDD-based (Time Division Duplex) LTE networks. In the discussion, run on state TV and caught by PCWorld, he explained that the gap would be a deliberate attempt to have coverage and device plans catch up with demand.
Carrier still unofficially supported
The number of iPhone users on China Mobile has reached 15 million, according to the carrier's chairman, Wang Jianzhou. The figure is notable because the only official iPhone carrier in China so far has been rival China Unicom. All of the Mobile iPhone subscribers are therefore using hacked and/or gray market devices, despite efforts to clamp down on unofficial sales. Apple now appears to be quietly supporting the carrier.
Report says Apple supporting unofficial carrier
Apple has contributed to fixing a problem with using the iPhone 4S on China Mobile, the People's Daily reports. Some 4S owners have been having trouble activating SIM cards, or else simply making calls with a full signal. A telecom expert reached by the Daily notes that the issue appears to involve the 4S only supporting the GSM P band -- 885-915MHz -- and not the E band (880-890MHz), although both are used by China Mobile.
China Mobile paves the way for 4G iPhone
China Mobile has confirmed that it is about to commence the wide-scale rollout of a TD-LTE mobile network. The largest telco in the world with 655 million customers has announced that it will deploy 20,000 TD-LTE base stations by the end of 2012, increasing to 200,000 by the end of 2013. The announcement is significant as the iPhone is not currently available on the influential network due to incompatibilities, but an LTE-capable iPhone would support TD-LTE.
Marvell PXA1802, PXA1202, PXA2128 at MWC
Marvell helped kick off Mobile World Congress with a pair of important cellular chipsets and a new mobile processor to match. The PXA1802 is one of the first cellular chips that can talk both to a conventional 4G LTE base station as well as the TD-LTE used on China Mobile and some North American carriers, even up to LTE's peak 150Mbps speed. It can connect to TD-SCDMA for China Mobile smartphones, although Marvell told Electronista it could also be used for pure data on a hotspot or tablet.
Commercial NGHs coming over next 12 months
Industry association Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) revealed on Thursday that some of the biggest carriers in the world have successfully tested Next Generation Hotspots (NGH). Wi-Fi access to these hubs is much simpler, and the second half of 2012 will see more tests that involve more advanced features. The first commercial NGHs will be built over the course of the next 10 months.
China Telecom may have iPhone 4S in a month
China Telecom sub-label Beijing Telecom stated Tuesday local time that a China Telecom-native iPhone 4S was expected within about a month. It said the CDMA version would "likely" reach the network by late February or early March, China Daily said. Apple's device had already been given regulatory clearance for China Telecom's network and would face few barriers.
Number hinges on China Mobile compatibility
Apple will likely sign iPhone deals with both China Telecom and China Mobile "over the next year," adding up to 40 million more iPhone sales in 2013, argues Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty. The iPhone is already available on China Unicom, but Huberty suggests that the carrier can only offer Apple 10 percent of a group of about 150 million "high-end Chinese subscribers," those being people who pay more than 100RMB ($16) per month. Of that selection, about 120 million are said to be with China Mobile, and a remaining 10 percent with China Telecom.
US Cellular next among carriers open to 4G iPhone
The chief for US Cellular's parent, TDS, hinted in a presentation at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference on Monday that US Cellular would be open to an LTE iPhone. It was "never going to say never" about Apple's device, but the carrier wanted the device on its newest network before considering. Its LTE network goes live in early 2012 and will already be at half coverage of its regional-sized network by the end of 2012.
iPhone 4S approved in HSPA form for China
China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology was reported on Monday as having approved the iPhone 4S for sale in China. The HSPA 3G version of the phone has passed government tests, clearing it for sale on China Unicom. It should get a network license this week, Sina claimed.
NFC-enabled SIM cards headed for mobile phones
The GSMA have announced that 45 of the world’s major carriers have committed to supporting SIM-based Near Field Communications (NFC). Among the carriers to pledge their support of the new standard are AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, China Mobile and China Unicom, Vodafone, and Telefonica. In making the announcement, the GSMA have now published (PDF) a new set of industry specifications to further accelerate adoption of the technology.
Focus currently on LTE model, sources say
Apple is in "no rush" to make a TD-SCDMA iPhone for China Mobile, says Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu. Wu's industry sources claim that Apple has actually been beta-testing TD-SCDMA-equipped iPhones for a while. Because of success with current official carrier China Unicom, however -- as well as over 10 million unlocked iPhones on China Mobile, plus sales in Taiwan and Hong Kong -- Apple allegedly has no strong interest in TD-SCDMA, and may actually skip the Chinese-only 3G standard in favor of preparing for a 4G TD-LTE iPhone.
China Mobile hints rabid demand
China Mobile chairman Wang Jianzhou disclosed at ITU World on Monday that China Mobile had over 10 million unofficial iPhone users. He hinted that Apple hadn't reached a deal for the iPhone 4S but hadn't had problems attracting users, even with full-price unlocked devices. China Unicom is the only official Chinese carrier in the country.
Expands on recurring claims
China Mobile and Apple are hoping to "find a solution for close collaboration" on TD-LTE and compatible hardware, specifically an iPhone, according to China Mobile chairman Wang Jianzhou. "We discussed this issue with Apple," Wang explained in an interview today. "We hope Apple will produce a new iPhone with TD-LTE. We have already got a positive answer from Apple."
China Telecom may go all out for iPhone 5 deal
China Telecom may have an all-out marketing campaign for its iPhone 5 launch if details given by a purported corporate insider. Referred to as the "Dragon Plan" by the Southern Metropolis Daily newspaper, it would see the second-largest Chinese carrier spend the equivalent of $234.6 million to market Apple's hardware. Pre-orders would start in September with the expected release in October.
Near-future iPhone plans uncertain
China Mobile has met several times with Apple CEO Steve Jobs on the subject of adopting the iPhone, Reuters reports. The information emerged from executives speaking at a China Mobile press conference. The carrier already has some 7.44 million iPhone users on its network, even though the only official Chinese iPhone network is China Unicom.
Nokia to tackle China mobile market with WP7
Nokia is planning on entering the large Chinese mobile phone market with its forthcoming Windows Phone 7 devices. A Nokia executive speaking in Beijing, Colin Giles, said that it plans on launching its new handsets on China Mobile’s 3G network using the TD-SCDMA standard. Giles did not offer a launch timeframe, but indicated that China would continue to figure strongly in Nokia’s plans moving forward.
Analyst says China Telecom has sure iPhone 5 deal
Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White pointed to a possible clue that Apple had largely finalized a deal for the iPhone 5 on China Telecom. Pointing to a Sohu news post, he understood the carrier had reached a "preliminary agreement" to carry two different versions of the iPhone as early as late October. The designs would include the genuinely new iPhone as well as the cheaper iPhone 4 version to help counter low-end Android.
Motorola Atrix sequel may get 8MP, 1080p recording
Motorola may have a refresh or full-fledged sequel to the Atrix 4G based on a new leak of photos. The design is similar on a basic level but makes clear changes to the speaker, camera, and other subtle elements. While not much is mentioned of the insides, a flip around back by ePrice's source shows an eight-megapixel camera with "HD 1080p" video recording, suggesting both a better camera than the five-megapixel sensor with 720p video of today as well as a faster processor than the Atrix 4G's Tegra 2.
Verizon hints iPhone 5 in fall as China expands
Verizon COO and soon-to-be CEO Lowell McAdam during the conference call for spring results said his company was anticipating the next iPhone's launch in the fall. Although he claimed Verizon didn't know when the new model would ship, the carrier was planning for a "significant jump" in business during the fall. Verizon had anticipated a release in the summer but didn't get that.
Could be first simultaneous US-Chinese launch
At least China Unicom and China Telecom will be carrying the next-generation iPhone, claims Caixin. The Chinese analysis firm quotes an unidentified source. It adds though that China Mobile -- the world's largest cellphone carrier, with over 611 million subscribers -- will not be the first in the country to sell the new device.
China Telecom gets CDMA iPhone late 2011
A late-night leak Tuesday has backed China Telecom carrying the iPhone by "close" to the end of 2011. Thanks to the existence of CDMA models, the company has all the technology and just needs to complete a deal. One Reuters tip warned that Apple's often strict negotiations didn't guarantee a deal, but another had the release narrowed down to November.
China Mobile-badged iPhone spotted, coming soon?
Apple's iPhone may be soon officially sold through carrier China Mobile, which is the world's largest carrier thanks to its 611 million subscribers. A research note from analyst Brian White of Ticonderoga Securities pointed to a Sohu.com report of an iPhone with China Mobile ID and a TD-SCDMA connection that isn't available on any current iPhone model (pictured). Thus far, China Unicom is the exclusive official provider of the iPhone, though there are as many as 5.7 million iPhone users on China Mobile using stepped down connections.
iOS 5 beta 2 allows OTA over 3G, QQ and 163 mail
More discoveries in iOS 5 beta 2 have revealed some extra upsides beyond what's been seen so far. One look through the SDK has found that at least some updates will be allowed to work over 3G. Code strings relayed by Sonny Dickson to 9to5 showed mentions of alert messages that would require "a Wi-Fi or 3G connection to download."
Could mark first simultaneous Chinese launch
"A new iPhone with China Mobile's network will debut and the cooperation will be announced in September," says a blog post by the carrier's marketing official, Liu Yang, as quoted by Shanghai Daily and Reuters. The Daily speculates that the device will support 4G networks, which could be backed by recent reports of TD-LTE negotiations. Most analysts, though, are only expecting an LTE iPhone in 2012, due to the limited spread of LTE in the US so far combined with other technological barriers.
Suggests new Chinese iPhone coverage soon
Apple COO Tim Cook made an appearance at China Mobile's headquarters on Wednesday morning, according to a reporter for local publication First Financial Daily. Cook was spotted walking with seven or eight other people, a claim backed by a photo of him in the China Mobile lobby. The exact reason for his visit is unknown, although it was likely related to expanding iPhone sales.
China Unicom cuts price on iPhone rates
China Unicom president Lu Yimin told investors late Tuesday that his company had started offering an ultra low-cost iPhone plan. The 66 yuan ($10) plan was about a third cheaper than before and designed to curb moves from other carriers. Company CEO Chang Xiaobing saw a "trend" towards rival carriers offering services with unlocked iPhones, according to Bloomberg's version of events.
China Telecom confirms negotiating iPhone deal
China Telecom partly put to bed rumors of a deal with Apple by acknowledging that it was in talks for the iPhone. Chairman Wang Xiaochu said his company was "in touch" for a possible deal but couldn't say how far along any deal might be. The current carrier, China Unicom, has an exclusive that ends this year.
Groundwork being set for LTE iPhones worldwide?
Carrier China Mobile has "reached consensus" with Apple on using TD-LTE technology in future iPhones, according to MarketWatch. The company's chairman, Wang Jianzhou, has however refused to say exactly what was agreed upon, and notes that talks are still continuing. The statement could signify that Apple has at least agreed to support TD-LTE, a variant of the regular LTE standard used elsewhere.
Analyst says iPhone 4S to have fast 3G, more CDMA
Jefferies analyst Peter Misek claimed in a research note Friday that claimed to know details of the next iPhone. Saying that the phone was now called the iPhone 4S, he referred to "industry checks" that supported what had been rumored so far but also mentioned HSPA+ 3G support on GSM networks, implying 21Mbps. He was also told network support would expand to carriers that had been actively seeking it, including Sprint's CDMA network, T-Mobile's uncommon HSPA+ bands, and China Mobile's unique TD-SCDMA.
No LTE model likely until at least 2012
Apple CEO Steve Jobs "has expressed his interest in an LTE iPhone and is willing to start the development at an early date," claims China Mobile chairman Wang Jianzhou. The comment was made outside of a Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference meeting in Beijing. China Mobile recently won government approval to start large-scale testing of TD-LTE, specifically in Shanghai, Hangzhou and four other cities.
China Unicom tries hand at own custom phone OS
China Unicom on Monday broadcast its plans to develop its own phone OS. Wophone, named after the company's Wo service, would run a custom version of Linux and target both smartphones and tablets. The strategy would help phones get to market faster by being already tailor-made for the Chinese, it said.
Suggests Apple already working on LTE models
Apple has "made it clear" that a future iPhone will support the TD-LTE 4G standard, according to the chairman of carrier China Mobile, Wang Jianzhou. Reuters reports that the topic came up in relation to the prospect of a TD-SCDMA iPhone, for which China Mobile has been negotiating for approximately two years. TD-SCDMA is a Chinese-only cellular standard which would require special hardware support from Apple, likely in the form of a separate model.
iPad, MacBook Air also in demand
The iPhone 4 is perhaps the most difficult Apple product to find in China, claims a Ticonderoga Securities analyst, Brian White. Continuing a tour of the country, White notes that local wait times for the iPhone 4 are now closer to two months; he suggests that official carrier China Unicom is unable to fill roughly a third of pre-orders. Unmentioned by the analyst is the effect of scalping, since it's believed that many of the iPhones being sold are being picked up for resale with a markup.
BlackBerry 8980 for China Mobile shows at FCC
A Chinese version of the Curve 8900 that is the 8980 has just been spotted at the FCC. The handset, photos of which are available, sports China Mobile branding on its face, suggesting it's just a Chinese version that is being approved for use in the US. Unusually, however, it has a Wi-Fi radio, and not China's common WAPI variant.
iPad or iPhone en route?
Apple has signed a business agreement with China Mobile, says Ticonderoga Securities' Brian White. The analyst notes that a local publication, the Chengdu Chinese Commercial News, is claiming the birth of a "cooperation agreement" between the two companies, though what products or services that might involve is still unknown. China Mobile is the country's largest wireless carrier, with about 70 percent of the country's subscribers, or 569.8 million.
China Telecom talking to Apple, Qualcomm on iPhone
A Deutsche Bank analyst fueled further talk of a CDMA iPhone with word of a possible China Telecom deal in a research note reported today. "Intensive" supplier checks purportedly showed that the second-largest Chinese carrier was talking not only to Apple but to the CDMA chipset supplier, Qualcomm, to guarantee a deal, according to the South China Morning Post's copy of the note. It wasn't said how close a deal might be or whether there would be any changes to the rumored American design.
MOTO MT716 for China Mobile gets formal intro
Motorola has taken the wraps off its latest smartphone for the Chinese market in the MOTO MT716. The handset operates on China Mobile's 3G network and uses the carrier's OPhone OS 2.0 software. It combines a 3.7-inch, 480x854 touchscreen along with a horizontal slide-out hardware QWERTY keyboard.