Apple iPhone’s China debut right around the corner?

“Over the last few weeks Apple has been signing international iPhone distribution deals at an astounding pace. Why so much urgency? Sure, they want the 3G iPhone to become a major global player, but the urgency has everything to do with their home court advantage; aka, the low dollar,” Jason Schwarz writes for SeekingAlpha.

“Even Apple has taken notice that the low dollar might be on its way out and they realize that it’s time to seize the moment. Let’s take a look at the grandaddy of them all, India. Vodafone and Bharti Airtel will reportedly market the new handset through a staggering 250,000 retail outlets, including franchisee-owned shops. Compare this rollout with the meager 7,000 Apple and AT&T stores in the US,” Schwarz writes.

“On top of this staggering 250,000 number, consider the profit effect of the low dollar; iPhones will be priced at 23,000 Rs or about $545 each. The US retail price is $399. The raucous [NBA] fans in Boston, Utah, New Orleans or San Antonio can’t touch that kind of home court advantage,” Schwarz writes.

iPhone China could be right around the corner
“Apple’s newest board member, Avon CEO Andrea Jung, was responsible for Avon’s direct sales program launch in China,” Schwarz writes.

“China Mobile maintains a subscriber base of 375 million — more than the population of the United States and by far the largest in the world. They already provide service to 400,000 iPhones that have been unlocked and smuggled into China,” Schwarz writes. “It should be no surprise that Andrea Jung was the only board member not in attendance at Apple’s annual shareholder meeting in March. I’ll bet I can guess where she was.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “brandon” for the heads up.]

14 Comments

  1. An American company selling Chinese assembled products to Chinese customers.

    That should offset a few of those lost American assembly jobs.

    American labor should think twice about pricing themselves out of more sectors of the economy.

  2. Apple has a chance to do to the phone industry what it did to music players. Put out some models to suit peoples needs. Especially if they put a simple phone in an ipod with a regular voice plan.
    They will get amazing market share.
    Can;t wait to hear Ballmers take.

  3. China uses TD-SCDMA as 3G standard, and just launches trial. It is not compatible to WCDMA which US, EU and most other countries use. Universal 3G chip is NOT available yet.

    How does Apple sell 3G iPhone in China before holiday season this year?

  4. @makemineamac

    Not quite sure what flavor, but it is 3G. I’ve been using a Nokia 6630 on Softbank (formerly Vodafone) for 2 years or so.
    Either way, doesn’t change my initial comment, “What about Japan?!?!?!!!!”

  5. Just to clear things up concerning the scene in Japan, there are three major companies, using the systems as given below:

    NTT DoCoMo (W-CDMA)
    Softbank (W-CDMA)
    AU by KDDI (CDMA)

    This is according to this source.

    Concerning the service providers in Japan getting their #%&$ together and making certain that the iPhone gets released sometime before the 2012 London Olympics, I wholeheartedly agree with Scott in Japan.

    There’s only so far an iPod touch can get you…

  6. “The raucous [NBA] fans in Boston, Utah, New Orleans or San Antonio can’t touch that kind of home court advantage.”

    KInd of a bizarre comparison. Maybe he wrote this while watching the games last night.

  7. “It should be no surprise that Andrea Jung was the only board member not in attendance at Apple’s annual shareholder meeting in March. I’ll bet I can guess where she was.”

    Fixing her makeup? Running out and secretly buying MAC makeup?

  8. “The raucous [NBA] fans in Boston, Utah, New Orleans or San Antonio can’t touch that kind of home court advantage.”

    I guess L.A. fans aren’t raucous enough to make the list. Lakers all the way!

  9. A 3G iPhone for China represents a technological and marketing challenge for Apple.

    Like digital television, the Peoples Republic of China has adopted a unique 3G phone standard designed to give their own electronics firms a home court advantage (and provide the government with an additional level of control over the spread of information).

    This means that, to sell a 3G iPhone within China, Apple must not only license their unique technology, but must decide whether (a) it wants to support the Chinese government’s heavy handed tactics, or (b) build in a dual-standard so Chinese iPhone owners traveling abroad can still get reception.

    Choosing the latter creates a dilemma for the rest of their Asian customers: buy a 3G iPhone sold in one’s home country that won’t work when traveling in China, or get this hypothetical Chinese version that would work everywhere?

    It’ll be interesting to see how Apple eventually resolves this.

  10. Now maybe China Mobile will want to sign-up!
    ~~~~~
    Shares of China Mobile (HK:941: news, chart, profile) fell 2.5% after the cellular service-provider, the world’s largest by subscribers, said it signed 7.4 million new customers in April, down from 7.78 million in March.
    ~~~~~~~~~~

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