“Apple is set to exponentially grow its China business as the country’s No.1 and No.3 telecom operators jostle to stitch up deals to sell iPhones in the world’s largest mobile phone market, home to more than 900 million subscribers,” Lee Chyen Yee and Huang Yuntao report for Reuters.
“China Unicom is the sole operator offering Apple’s sleek feature-filled smartphones but it is only a matter of time before No.1 operator China Mobile and No.3 China Telecom — follow suit, analysts said,” Yee and Yuntao report. “‘The biggest winner will be Apple. While the operators may be forced to subsidise the iPhone to users, Apple will still get the price it wanted from all the operators no matter what,’ said Alex Chau, a senior research manager at research firm IDC Asia Pacific. Apple’s Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said last week that the maker of the iPhone and iPad was merely ‘scratching the surface’ in China.”
“China’s telecom operators are stepping up efforts to sell iPhones, which will in turn help lift their margins and ARPU (average rate per user),” Yee and Yuntao report. “China Mobile is expected take longer, only after it unveils its more advanced 4G LTE (long-term evolution) technology in late 2012 or early 2013. Analysts said Apple was unlikely to make an iPhone that supported China Mobile’s current technology. ‘Even though China Telecom is the smallest player in China, it still represents a significant number of subscribers,’ IDC’s Chau said.”
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