“Apple Inc.’s deal to offer iPhones through China Mobile Ltd. represents a major coup for its chief executive Tim Cook, who signaled Wednesday the company plans to broaden its alliance with the Chinese carrier to grow in the world’s largest smartphone market,” Paul Mozur reports for The Wall Street Journal. “With preorders for the iPhone through China Mobile already exceeding one million, the agreement will likely boost Apple’s sales in the coming year at a time when its earnings growth is slowing and its global smartphone market share is slipping.”
“To announce the official start of the iPhones shipping to China Mobile beginning Friday, Mr. Cook traveled to Beijing and held a rare briefing with China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua to highlight the significance of the deal. ‘As of this weekend we will be selling iPhones in more than 3,000 additional locations,'” Mr. Cook said. ‘It’s a monumental day and a watershed moment,'” Mozur reports. “Mr. Cook said Apple sold more iPhones in Greater China, which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan, in its fiscal first quarter ended December than it ever has before without disclosing specific figures.”
“Talks between China Mobile and Apple have gone on since 2008, first beginning between Mr. Jobs and China Mobile’s ex-Chairman Wang Jianzhou before being taken up by Mr. Cook and Mr. Xi. Likening the talks to a courtship and eventual marriage, Mr. Xi said the two had faced technological and commercial snags in coming to an agreement, something he likened to the ‘quarrels’ involved in any courtship,” Mozur reports. “Both Mr. Xi and Mr. Cook said the length of the talks helped develop a relationship between the two companies, one they said will grow in the future as the two continue to cooperate. ‘We’ve gotten to know each other… today is a beginning, and I think there are lots more things our companies can do together in the future,’ Mr. Cook said.”
“Mr. Cook said Apple wants to reach as many Chinese consumers as possible but isn’t concerned about market share as much as it is about how much of its phones are used. In the most recent quarter, 57% of mobile browsing traffic in China came through Apple’s iOS operating system, he said,” Mozur reports. “‘Apple has always been about making the best products, not the most products…and that’s not going to change ever,’ said Mr. Cook.”
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