Printed from http://www.electronista.com

WSJ: Apple has signed deal with China Mobile for latest iPhones

updated 11:18 pm EST, Wed December 4, 2013

Report hinges on single, unnamed source, but signs are there

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a formal agreement between Apple and the world's largest -- and up till recently, the biggest iPhone holdout -- carrier, China Mobile, has been signed. The story is confirmed only by a single, unnamed source -- normally a violation of journalistic standards -- but other evidence to support the contention has appeared, including a pre-order site connected to China Mobile serving a wealthy Shanghai suburb and state media announcements.



While the iPhone has been available for quite some time on the country's second- and third-largest carriers, Apple has been pushing for a deal with the carrier for going on six years. China Mobile actually has admitted to having over 15 million iPhone users already on its network despite its lack of support, but until recently such users were limited to EDGE-like 2G data speeds because previous models were incompatible with the company's TD-SCDMA 3G technology. Only the recent iPhone models are compatible with the TD-LTE "4G" techology that has finally allowed a deal to come together.

Earlier this week, a website connected to China Mobile opened for pre-orders on the latest iPhones, reinforcing a common rumored debut date of December 18 for the partnership to formally begin. Earlier reports from the state-controlled Xinhua News Agency also pegged the iPhone's China Mobile debut on the same day -- with the iPhone 5c and 5s debuting for the first time. In addition, all of the top three carriers have been awarded licenses to use TD-LTE in the country, meaning a substantive portion of China's major cities and urban areas will have access to high-speed cellular data that is compatible with the latest iPhones.

As of October, China Mobile alone had some 759 million subscribers, though many are still on feature-phone devices rather than smartphones. However, China's middle class is rapidly expanding compared to the shrinking US middle class, making it a vital growth market for Apple and its rivals. By way of comparison, America's largest cellular provider -- Verizon -- has a customer base just one-seventh as large.



By Electronista Staff
Post tools:

TAGS :

toggle

Comments

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

Sponsor

Recent Reviews

IDrive cloud backup and sync service

There are a lot of cloud services out there, and nearly all of them can be used for backing up key files and folders. A few dedicated ...

Asus Chromebook C300

When Chromebooks hit the market back in 2011, consumers didn't know what to do with them. The low-cost laptops, powered by Google's Ch ...

Plantronics BackBeat Pro Bluetooth headphones

Looking for a pair of headphones that can do everything a user requires is a task that can take some study. Trying to decide on in-ear ...

Sponsor

toggle

Most Commented

 
toggle

Popular News