IPHONE DEAL EXPECTED SOON
The long-awaited deal between Apple Inc and China Mobile Ltd might be announced soon, after China Mobile’s Chairman Xi Guohua said that both sides have shown “a positive attitude” in the ongoing talks to launch an iPhone that can run on China Mobile’s network.
Xi declined to provide details because nothing has been finalized, but said he is optimistic and will make a public announcement once a deal is reached.
China Mobile has failed to reach a deal with Apple partly because the US company refused to redesign its iPhone so that it can work on China Mobile’s self-developed TD-SCDMA 3G networks.
Apple is expected to unveil a new version of the iPhone next month and may also release a cheaper smartphone targeted at emerging markets.
The new smartphones are widely expected to use Qualcomm Inc’s chips, which are compatible with China Mobile’s network.
China Mobile, which had 740.1 million users by the end of June, is expected to see a boost for its data services if it can offer an Apple smartphone targeting mid-market customers.
A deal with China Mobile would also help Apple to regain some of the market share that it lost to Samsung Electronics Co in China.
Strategy Analytics said that Samsung sold 15.3 million smartphones in China in the April-June period, grabbing a market share of 19.4 percent, up 0.9 percentage point from the previous quarter, Yonhap News reported.
Apple just sold 3.4 million units, accounting for 4.3 percent of the market.