Analyst: Apple close to inking landmark iPhone deal with massive China Mobile

“Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty was visiting Hong Kong and Taiwan recently. She is now back from China with some interesting Apple news,” Christian Zibreg reports for iDownloadBlog.

“Tim Cook & Co., she wrote in her note to clients, may be close to striking an iPhone distribution agreement with China Mobile, the world’s top wireless carrier by revenue and subscribers,” Zibreg reports. “Specifically, Huberty wrote that ‘TD-LTE licenses, and related phone launches, are expected by year-end,’ in her note to clients”

Zibreg reports, “China-only TD-LTE is incompatible with current iPhones so Apple would need to use latest world-mode wireless chips (Qualcomm has one!) in the next iPhone if wants to sell its iPhone to China Mobile customers… China Mobile, by the way, has more than 700 million subscribers. ”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Morgan Stanley: Multiple new iPhone models start production in June-July – May 8, 2013
Wedge Partners: China Mobile to get Apple’s coveted iPhone 5S this July; iPhone 4 will be Apple’s ‘low-cost’ iPhone – April 2, 2013
China Mobile to spend $6.7 billion building out 4G network ahead of expected Apple iPhone deal – March 14, 2013


  1. I’m only interested in when Apple actually signs the agreement with China Mobile. All this foreplay talk doesn’t mean a thing. Being close is only good when playing horseshoes. And then I want to see a decently-priced, high quality iPhone offered specifically to Chinese consumers. I’m not expecting much and even grabbing 10% of China Mobile subscribers for the first year should be satisfactory for a start. It may not satisfy Wall Street, but pure greed can never be truly satisfied.

    I know Samsung is going to become the major foreign smartphone vendor in China but there’s nothing that can be done about that. They said they would be gearing up to blow out smartphone sales in China and I’m certain they will achieve that goal.

    1. Keep in mind, Samsung is 1/10th of South Korea’s economy. However, China is tied to North Korea who is at war with South Korea. Also, Samsung runs on Google’s OS and China kicked out Google. That is why Apple needed to dump Google maps last year.

      See the puzzle pieces and you can assemble the final picture!

    2. i agree with most of what you said

      couple of points I would like to add:

      1) C Mobile is state controlled. I think that has to be a key reason for the holdup of so many years for the deal to go through. Chinese govt has a policy to build a ‘China Phone and OS’. They want control.

      interesting to see how Apple solves it.

      If C Mobile doesn’t do apple, it’s competitors selling iPhone will continue to chew its smartphone subscriber base. For all C mobile’s raw size it’s 3G (9% of it’s base) and 4G (experimental ) smartphone size isn’t correspondingly large. Many of its subscribers are cheap rural customers.

      2) as you pointed out its hard to stop samsung. Samsung is taking mostly the feature phone cheap share. Not sure what the profits are there but apple needs to address the income level of the large Chinese population.

      the instalment plan Apple introduced in India recently (to address THAT countries particular problems where carriers don’t like to subsidize ) seems to have helped tripled iPhone sales.

  2. It’s not like this is something people weren’t aware of. It will happen eventually. The sooner the better. That will be a nice bump up in the stock price when announced. And China, just like United States of America, is tied to many countries. But they will abandon North Korea at the drop of a hat. China looks out for China, never make the mistake of thinking otherwise.

  3. 700… For me, it is hard to understand how a company can even handle that many subs when it comes to logistics etc. it is really hard to get ones mind around this. They have 70 times more subscribers than my country has citizens.

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