New iPhone, 4G technology may mean Apple, China Mobile tie-up closer

“The stars may be aligning for a long-awaited deal between Apple Inc and China Mobile Ltd, the world’s biggest mobile carrier, that could help the iPhone maker claw back lost ground in its most important growth market,” Lee Chyen Yee and Yimou Lee report for Reuters.

“Apple is expected to unveil its redesigned iPhone next month and may also release a cheaper, emerging market smartphone. Crucially, it also now has Qualcomm Inc chips that can operate even on China’s obscure networks,” Lee and Lee report. “At the same time, Beijing is expected to grant 4G licences by the year-end that favour the biggest of its domestic mobile operators.”

Lee and Lee report, “While the 4G licences are expected to be based on TD-LTE technology, rather than the more widely-used FDD-LTE, the new Qualcomm chips can handle both systems, saving Apple from a major re-design just for the Chinese market, albeit the world’s largest.”

Read more in the full article here.

10 Comments

  1. I’ve got my fingers crossed and hoping for the best. It’s difficult for me to understand why most companies can walk right into China and start selling smartphones on China Mobile but it so difficult for Apple to do the same thing. Apple’s pipeline must be so unlike any other company’s pipeline. Samsung was able to put the Galaxy S4 on China Mobile practically overnight. No big deal. Yet it’s taken Apple years just to build an iPhone that works with China Mobile’s network. Apple has massive amounts of money to build a smartphone that works on any network, so what’s going on exactly? I’m not being snarky. I truly just don’t understand why it takes Apple so long to make these changes considering it only has such few product lines to deal with.

    So what if Apple had to make a major redesign of the iPhone? How much of a financial impact would that make on a company with $145 billion in cash when other companies commonly make those type of changes? It just makes me tend to think that Apple is just sort of coasting along at some leisurely set pace barely using any of its potential resources.

    1. Or, China wants to be able to hack their citizens on the iPhone and Apple is holding out and trying to control the government intrusion into the iOS devices. Google wouldn’t bend over when they were told to and they got booted out of China. I hope Apple keeps the iOS devices secure and lets the Chinese government just grab the wireless and internet data only. Like the government here in the USA is doing at this time. Not a lot you can do outside you device anyway.

    2. I think you may be judging Apple by what Samsung does. Samsung does what it can to get name recognition and market share at the cost of profit and good products. It is evident that Samsung more than willingly sells its soul for those two points. Add in that Google could care less about users. Their OS is free so that they can get market share and use the customer/commodity as ad targets.

      Apple KNOWS this and will not bend into that demagoguery even for the sake of a few psuedo-apple pundits who wants them to keep up with the Samsungs at any cost!

      Hold to your plan Apple. Make the best products! Make the best deals! Don’t undermine your goals and purpose! CM wants you more than you need them!

    3. Nonsense, stop pretending. You’ve been around long enough, so no one is going to believe your little charade.

      BTW, the iPhone has been able to work on China Mobile from the very beginning since CM uses EDGE, which is why over 10M chinese iPhone users are on CM.

  2. I have not heard if Apple has got the server farm in Hong Kong up and running yet. 3 of the 4 in the USA are running at this time. No one else is looking for the other billion dollar solar powered server farms with fuel cell back up scattered all around the world.

    The analysts and talking heads love a surprise! Still have no idea what Apple is really up to. Maybe the next big innovation doesn’t fit in your pocket. Maybe it sits on a planet on every continent.

  3. It’s easy to get your phone on China Mobile’s service if you agree to all their terms. How many carriers allow their hardware vendors to exclude their branding on their offered devices? When your Verizon Samsung phone breaks, do you take it to a Samsung store to get it fixed, or return it to the carrier? How much storage space do carrier software packages consume on an iPhone? Right, none.

    Apple wants to offer its unblemished product to the world and assume full responsibility for its functionality. Carriers want to treat phones as commodities, and have you throw them away when they break or misbehave. They most certainly don’t want you upgrading the software to extend their usefulness beyond the contract period.

    So, who knows how many roadblocks China Mobile has been throwing up to wrest control from Apple over the iPhone? This isn’t a technology issue, it’s a control issue, and over how much Apple is willing to give up to be offered on their service. I’d guess Apple isn’t willing to give up much, or it would be agreeing to commodify the iPhone in search of marketshare, throwing away its cachet. To Apple, China Mobile is a dumb pipe, to China Mobile Apple it’s just another phone vendor, having no particular value beyond how much cash it can make by offering it. It will want to place the same constraints on the iPhone that it places on other phones, from stickers to crapware, to no software upgrades.

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