“Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook on Tuesday met with the head of China Mobile Ltd , the world’s largest mobile carrier by subscribers and the only Chinese carrier that doesn’t offer iPhones and iPads,” Paul Carsten and Lee Chyen Yee report for Reuters. “The meeting with China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua in Beijing was to discuss matters of cooperation, the Chinese firm told Reuters in an emailed statement. It gave no further details. The talks could pave the way for a long-awaited deal for China Mobile to distribute Apple products on its vast network, benefitting both companies.”
Carsten and Yee report, “Analysts say China Mobile would attract higher-end 3G users if it strikes a deal to carry Apple’s iPhone. Low 3G adoption crimps China Mobile’s profits as mobile users shift away from SMS messaging to data-reliant apps such as Tencent Holdings’ WeChat, which now has more than 300 million users in China. China Mobile’s homegrown 3G technology – TD-SCDMA – is inferior to what is offered by China Unicom and China Telecom, which are based on international 3G standards. Any deal between China Mobile and Apple, combined with the Chinese government issuing 4G licenses later this year, could turn around both companies’ fortunes with wider product distribution and faster Internet speeds attracting new smartphone adopters.”
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