“Apple Inc. is getting closer to clearing the hurdles to start selling iPhones in China, one of the last major phone markets Apple has yet to tap,” Loretta Chao, Juliet Ye, and Yukari Iwatani Kane report for The Wall Street Journal.
“The release of the iPhone in China could turbocharge overseas growth for what is already Apple’s fastest-growing product. China is the world’s largest mobile market by subscribers, with some 687 million subscribers. That compares with more than 270 million subscribers in the U.S.,” Chao, Ye, and Kane report. “The iPhone hasn’t sold as well in some markets as in the U.S. In Japan, for example, the Apple brand isn’t as strong, and regular mobile phones offer many of the same features.”
MacDailyNews Take: Pure bullshit. Please see:
• iPhone 3GS is Japan’s bestselling phone – August 17, 2009
• Japanese look to Apple’s iPhone for ideas on how to fix their ailing cellphone business – July 20, 2009
• Apple iPhone dominates Japan smartphone market – July 03, 2009
• Crowds line up for Apple’s iPhone 3GS debut in Japan – June 27, 2009
• Apple iPod, iTunes Music Store absolutely rule Japan’s digital-music player market – February 24, 2006
Chao, Ye, and Kane continue, “An iPhone prototype that was modified for the China market recently received one of the technical licenses the government requires for mobile phones, according to a testing center under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. It is unclear how many approvals are required before the phone can be released.
“Apple must still complete negotiations with state-owned wireless operator China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd., which is expected to carry the iPhone, but analysts say those talks are nearing conclusion. Beijing-based research firm BDA China Ltd. said in a report this month that the iPhone is “now finally set to make its official debut in China in October,” citing interviews with companies including Unicom,” Chao, Ye, and Kane report. “Cynthia Meng, analyst for Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong, said in a report that she also expects the iPhone to launch in the fourth quarter this year, in conjunction with Unicom’s planned launch of 3G in October.”
“Apple has faced regulatory hurdles to launching the iPhone in China, including having to comply with a government rule that requires the removal of the device’s wireless Internet function,” Chao, Ye, and Kane report. “Analysts say they expect a later rollout of a Wi-Fi enabled iPhone that complies with newly revised regulations.”
Chao, Ye, and Kane report, “One indication of the iPhone’s strong potential in China is the thriving underground iPhone market that already exists there. Though the device isn’t officially available, BDA estimates there are already 1.5 million iPhones in use in China, and the handset is on sale everywhere from online vendors to resellers of Apple products in sprawling electronics malls.”
Full article here.