“Clearly Apple has got under the skin of Chinese authorities,” Craig Stephen writes for MarketWatch. “After an exposé on the state broadcaster CCTV, came an editorial from the state mouthpiece the People’s Daily branding it greedy and incomparably arrogant. The latest salvo came in the form of directive for Apple to face ‘strengthened supervision’ from China’s consumer watchdogs.”

“But why exactly has the world’s most popular consumer-products company sent the government of the world’s most populous country into such a tiff? The level of protest seems out of proportion to what is officially just a disagreement over warranty policies,” Stephen writes. “It looks beyond even the long arm of China’s government to push Apple’s evangelical customers into the arms of a local handset maker. However, there is another party that could benefit from Apple being taken down a peg or two. Enter China Mobile , the world’s largest wireless operator, with 710 million subscribers. These two giants have been reportedly locking horns for some months as they seek to agree to terms for Apple to provide next generation iPhones.”

Stephen writes, “China Mobile needs Apple, not just so it can broaden its phone line-up but also to lift the pace of customer upgrades to 3G and 4G networks… It is likely there are a few wireless operators around the world that might nod in agreement that Apple is arrogant and hard to deal with — at least privately. But that’s what happens when you have a product everyone wants. You need the iPhone to be in the game… Most likely, this Apple persecution will be short-lived, and China Mobile will ink an iPhone deal with Apple.”

Read more in the full article here.

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