December 13 date of device sale, December 18 date of 4G rollout
Potentially dispelling the rumors and false starts, China Mobile is taking preorders for iPhones on Thursday in Shanghai, according to an advertisement that briefly appeared on its website and in a call placed to customer service. Using the slogan "4G is here!" the ad not only announced the opening date of iPhone sales, but also suggests phones from other vendors such as Sony, Samsung, and HTC, that all support the new 4G network that the carrier has been building out for the last two years.
Carrier maintains position despite rumors of imminent launch
The world's biggest cellphone carrier, China Mobile, says it is still discussing an iPhone deal with Apple, according to a Reuters report. "We are still negotiating with Apple, but for now we have nothing new to announce," comments Mobile spokeswoman Rainie Lei. Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal claimed that a deal had been signed, supporting rumors that Mobile might start selling iPhones as soon as December 18th.
Agreement would increase iPad sales opportunities, lift Apple revenues
Assuming that the latest iPhones (and possibly iPads) debut in China and on China Mobile as expected on December 18, Apple will have just two weeks of sales there to record before the close of the company's fiscal Q1 for 2014. In a testament the sheer scale of both China's overall economy and China Mobile's subscriber base are, those few days might be enough to materially affect Apple's overall earnings for the period, says Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.
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.
Issued licenses allow for 4G LTE cellular usage in China
The three major carriers in China have been issued licenses to operate TD-LTE networks in the country. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has provided the licenses to China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom today, which opens the door to Chinese mobile users being able to use faster mobile connections in the future.
China Mobile 4G network compatible with iPhone 5c, 5s
The Chinese state media outlet, Xinhua News Agency is claiming that Apple's new iPhone releases, the iPhone 5c and 5s, will see release on the country's largest mobile operator, China Mobile, on December 18. The report dovetails with previous claims of the release being on that date.
Carrier still waiting on 4G license from Chinese government
China Mobile is planning to introduce a new brand for its mobile services on December 18th, something that could hint at the iPhone finally arriving on the carrier, says the Wall Street Journal. The brand announcement is expected to take place during Mobile's 4G global partners conference in Guangzhou. The carrier has said it's ready to start 4G services; although it must still wait for the Chinese government to issue 4G licenses, local media has indicated that may happen as soon as next week.
Launch delayed due to China Mobile TD-LTE build-out
China Mobile will be receiving the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c early next month, if a photograph of a promotional poster is genuine. The launch on the largest Chinese carrier will apparently take place on November 11th, with the iPhone to be made available as one of the first devices to use its 100Mbps TD-LTE mobile network.
Asks for experience with TD-SCDMA
Apple is looking to hire an engineering manager familiar with China Mobile's TD-SCDMA 3G standard, Bloomberg notes. The person's job will be to "support and drive the carrier approval of mobile phones;" notably, Apple is asking for experience with TD-SCDMA, even though China Mobile has yet to carry the iPhone. The listing backs several reports pointing to an imminent China Mobile iPhone launch.
Carrier's plans to sell device still unofficial
China's Telecom Equipment Certification Center has granted a network access license for an iPhone compatible with China Mobile, according to the agency's website. The TECC has also granted fresh licenses for iPhones compatible with China Unicom and China Telecom, but Mobile has never before sold the iPhone. The certification adds to the evidence that Mobile will start carrying the device in the near future.
Backs reports of China Mobile deal
The iPhone 4 is still available through Apple's online store in China, checks show. The 4 has disappeared as an option elsewhere in the world, the 4S taking its place as the cheapest option in Apple's iPhone lineup. Many carriers will be offering the 4S for free on contract. In China, an 8GB iPhone 4 is listed at RMB 2,588 (about $420) unlocked, while a 4S is RMB 3,288, and 16GB versions of the 5c and 5s are RMB 4,488 and RMB 5,288, respectively.
China's largest carrier may get iPhone later
Apple's next generation of iPhone may launch later on China Mobile than on other Chinese carriers, according to a new report. KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a note last week explaining that China Mobile is still in the process of rolling out its TDD-LTE network, which will bring faster data speeds to its 700 million subscribers. While China Mobile completes that process, its customers could have to wait until November to get their hands on Apple's phone.
Marks an end to long-running negotiations
Apple is getting ready to deliver iPhones to China Mobile, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. The paper notes that while it isn't clear if the two businesses have signed a formal sales agreement, the impending delivery of phones would mean that some sort of deal has been arranged. One source elaborates that Apple has asked its main manufacturing partner, Foxconn, to add China Mobile to the list of carriers that will be getting the low-cost iPhone, better known as the iPhone 5C. When Mobile might be getting the 5C is uncertain.
Devices expected to support TDD-LTE
The iPhone 5S and 5C could reach China as soon as November 28th, according to local publication the First Financial Daily. The main obstacle at the moment is said to be the verification process required by the country's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The report also echoes claims that the phones will support TDD-LTE, the 4G standard using by heretofore-unsupported Chinese carrier China Mobile.
Carrier chairman believes 'both sides are keen' on iPhone reaching China Mobile
China Mobile is still talking to Apple about bringing the iPhone to its network. New comments from China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua reveal that the two companies "are actively negotiating and both sides are keen," which could potentially see subscribers of the Chinese carrier being able to buy and use the iOS smartphones on its TD-SCDMA network in the future.
Could hint at long-awaited iPhone deal
Apple CEO Tim Cook met with China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua in Beijing on Tuesday, the latter company tells Reuters. The subject of the executives' discussion is being kept secret, but the pair were likely in talks to bring a new iPhone and/or iPad to China Mobile. The company is the only major Chinese carrier without an Apple deal, although it has a number of unofficial iPhone users on its network.
Company's growth rate slips
Apple remains in first place on an annual BrandZ ranking of the world's most valuable brands, notes MarketingWeek. Apple's brand is estimated to be worth $185.071 billion, putting it well ahead of next-closest rivals Google ($113.669 billion) and IBM ($112.536 billion). Other companies in the top 10 include McDonald's, Coca-Cola, AT&T, Microsoft, Marlboro, Visa, and China Mobile.
Carrier aims squarely at iPhone support
China Mobile has announced plans to spend $6.7 billion in developing its 4G LTE network during 2013, Reuters says. The carrier adds that it expects to have licenses by the end of the year; Reuters indicates that the company is aiming explicitly at supporting the iPhone, which is incompatible with its 3G network. Mobile uses a proprietary 3G standard, TD-SCDMA, which has so far led Apple to favor Mobile's rivals, China Unicom and China Telecom.
Host of new hardware features predicted, China model too
New speculation by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has a new flagship iPhone "5S" model arriving in early summer, alongside a redesigned version often referred to as a "low cost" iPhone because it will be more affordable in instalment payments than the current price of a new iPhone model, and made of cheaper materials. The new iPhone models, he says, will also be compatible with China's TD-DLTE and TD-SCDMA networks, be offered by China Mobile, and will offer a host of new features -- reiterating his earlier predictions.
Expects 80-percent of 2013 TD-SCDMA sales to be smartphones
China Mobile has sold over 60 million TD-SCDMA-based mobile devices during 2012, the company revealed today. Wang Hengjiang, deputy general manager of products for China Mobile, made the claim at Qualcomm's QRD Summit in Shenzen, including that at least seven million of that total came from sales in December alone.
May hint at advancement on iPhone deal
(Updated with cellular iPad mini launch info) As a part of his ongoing tour of China, Apple CEO Tim Cook has met with the chairman of China Mobile, Xi Guohua, Reuters reports. A Mobile spokesman will only say that the two talked about "matters of cooperation" at the carrier's headquarters earlier today, and that no further details can be given out because of a confidentiality agreement. Despite being the world's biggest phone carrier in terms of subscribers, China Mobile is the only national Chinese carrier without the iPhone.
Remarks from president claims business issues, not technical, to blame
Yue Li, the president of China Mobile, confirmed at its Worldwide Developer's Conference that business issues are holding up agreements with Apple -- preventing the iPhone from reaching China's largest cellphone provider's network. Li confirmed that the company had been negotiating with Apple since 2009, and was close to reaching a contract in 2011.
Could impact Apple sales, China Mobile launch
If Apple is in fact holding an iPhone event on September 12th, it could create some unexpected problems, an investor memo from Sterne Agee's Shaw Wu indicates. Based on "supplier checks," the analyst notes that he only expects volume production of iPhones to happen in late September. If so that could meant that while suppliers will make a fair amount of money in the September quarter, Apple itself won't see a substantial amount of money until the December quarter.
Would extend iPhone's 'world phone' status
The next-generation iPhone will likely not only support standard 3G and 4G networks, but also the China Mobile version of 3G, TD-SCDMA, says Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu. Based on "supply chain work" by his firm, Wu suggests that the next iPhone will expand on the world phone status of the iPhone 4S by adding both LTE 4G and TD-SCDMA. China Mobile is the only carrier in the world to use TD-SCDMA, something that has so far interfered with iPhone compatibility.
Carrier losing subscribers due to native 3G standard
China Mobile is in talks with Apple to offer the iPhone, confirms Mobile chairman Xi Guohua. The executive made the statement on Wednesday at a shareholder meeting in Hong Kong, his first since replacing Wang Jianzhou, who retired in March. Apple has refused to comment, and Xi didn't elaborate much further at the meeting, saying he couldn't predict if a deal would be reached this year. "China Mobile and Apple both have the will to strengthen cooperation," he commented. "When there is more specific news, we will disclose it."
China Mobile deploys early LTE
China Mobile took its first tentative steps into LTE on Friday with a launch plan for service in Hong Kong. The 100Mbps service will be active as of April 25. At least two 4G phones will be available the same day as the service, Bloomberg was told, with a total of 10 reaching the market by the end of 2012.
HTC T328 line exports One ideas to China
HTC has expanded its 2012 phone line by reviving the Desire name for a trio of smartphones that will land in China. Caught by ePrice, the VT T328t, VC T328d, and V T328w are closest in spirit to the One V but improve on it, carrying larger four-inch (though still 480x800) screens. All four share Android 4.0 with the new streamlined Sense 4.0 as well as a 1GHz single-core Snapdragon, a five-megapixel rear camera, 4GB of built-in space plus a microSD slot, and Beats Audio.
Samsung has 24pc of China sartphones
Gartner on Sunday revealed the extent to which Apple's share of China's smartphones trailed others. Although Apple leads worldwide, it sat at 7.5 percent, or fifth place, in China's sphere. Samsung, in the lead at 24.3 percent, had over three times as much share.
China may delay full LTE rollouts for years
Hopes for a quick LTE deployment in China were possibly quashed after Ministroy of Industry and Information Technology leader Miao Wei said in an interview that licenses would have to wait. He thought it probable that the government would wait two to three years before it gave licenses for local TDD-based (Time Division Duplex) LTE networks. In the discussion, run on state TV and caught by PCWorld, he explained that the gap would be a deliberate attempt to have coverage and device plans catch up with demand.
Carrier still unofficially supported
The number of iPhone users on China Mobile has reached 15 million, according to the carrier's chairman, Wang Jianzhou. The figure is notable because the only official iPhone carrier in China so far has been rival China Unicom. All of the Mobile iPhone subscribers are therefore using hacked and/or gray market devices, despite efforts to clamp down on unofficial sales. Apple now appears to be quietly supporting the carrier.
Report says Apple supporting unofficial carrier
Apple has contributed to fixing a problem with using the iPhone 4S on China Mobile, the People's Daily reports. Some 4S owners have been having trouble activating SIM cards, or else simply making calls with a full signal. A telecom expert reached by the Daily notes that the issue appears to involve the 4S only supporting the GSM P band -- 885-915MHz -- and not the E band (880-890MHz), although both are used by China Mobile.
China Mobile paves the way for 4G iPhone
China Mobile has confirmed that it is about to commence the wide-scale rollout of a TD-LTE mobile network. The largest telco in the world with 655 million customers has announced that it will deploy 20,000 TD-LTE base stations by the end of 2012, increasing to 200,000 by the end of 2013. The announcement is significant as the iPhone is not currently available on the influential network due to incompatibilities, but an LTE-capable iPhone would support TD-LTE.
Marvell PXA1802, PXA1202, PXA2128 at MWC
Marvell helped kick off Mobile World Congress with a pair of important cellular chipsets and a new mobile processor to match. The PXA1802 is one of the first cellular chips that can talk both to a conventional 4G LTE base station as well as the TD-LTE used on China Mobile and some North American carriers, even up to LTE's peak 150Mbps speed. It can connect to TD-SCDMA for China Mobile smartphones, although Marvell told Electronista it could also be used for pure data on a hotspot or tablet.
Commercial NGHs coming over next 12 months
Industry association Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) revealed on Thursday that some of the biggest carriers in the world have successfully tested Next Generation Hotspots (NGH). Wi-Fi access to these hubs is much simpler, and the second half of 2012 will see more tests that involve more advanced features. The first commercial NGHs will be built over the course of the next 10 months.
China Telecom may have iPhone 4S in a month
China Telecom sub-label Beijing Telecom stated Tuesday local time that a China Telecom-native iPhone 4S was expected within about a month. It said the CDMA version would "likely" reach the network by late February or early March, China Daily said. Apple's device had already been given regulatory clearance for China Telecom's network and would face few barriers.
Number hinges on China Mobile compatibility
Apple will likely sign iPhone deals with both China Telecom and China Mobile "over the next year," adding up to 40 million more iPhone sales in 2013, argues Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty. The iPhone is already available on China Unicom, but Huberty suggests that the carrier can only offer Apple 10 percent of a group of about 150 million "high-end Chinese subscribers," those being people who pay more than 100RMB ($16) per month. Of that selection, about 120 million are said to be with China Mobile, and a remaining 10 percent with China Telecom.
US Cellular next among carriers open to 4G iPhone
The chief for US Cellular's parent, TDS, hinted in a presentation at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference on Monday that US Cellular would be open to an LTE iPhone. It was "never going to say never" about Apple's device, but the carrier wanted the device on its newest network before considering. Its LTE network goes live in early 2012 and will already be at half coverage of its regional-sized network by the end of 2012.
iPhone 4S approved in HSPA form for China
China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology was reported on Monday as having approved the iPhone 4S for sale in China. The HSPA 3G version of the phone has passed government tests, clearing it for sale on China Unicom. It should get a network license this week, Sina claimed.
NFC-enabled SIM cards headed for mobile phones
The GSMA have announced that 45 of the world’s major carriers have committed to supporting SIM-based Near Field Communications (NFC). Among the carriers to pledge their support of the new standard are AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, China Mobile and China Unicom, Vodafone, and Telefonica. In making the announcement, the GSMA have now published (PDF) a new set of industry specifications to further accelerate adoption of the technology.
Focus currently on LTE model, sources say
Apple is in "no rush" to make a TD-SCDMA iPhone for China Mobile, says Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu. Wu's industry sources claim that Apple has actually been beta-testing TD-SCDMA-equipped iPhones for a while. Because of success with current official carrier China Unicom, however -- as well as over 10 million unlocked iPhones on China Mobile, plus sales in Taiwan and Hong Kong -- Apple allegedly has no strong interest in TD-SCDMA, and may actually skip the Chinese-only 3G standard in favor of preparing for a 4G TD-LTE iPhone.
China Mobile hints rabid demand
China Mobile chairman Wang Jianzhou disclosed at ITU World on Monday that China Mobile had over 10 million unofficial iPhone users. He hinted that Apple hadn't reached a deal for the iPhone 4S but hadn't had problems attracting users, even with full-price unlocked devices. China Unicom is the only official Chinese carrier in the country.
Expands on recurring claims
China Mobile and Apple are hoping to "find a solution for close collaboration" on TD-LTE and compatible hardware, specifically an iPhone, according to China Mobile chairman Wang Jianzhou. "We discussed this issue with Apple," Wang explained in an interview today. "We hope Apple will produce a new iPhone with TD-LTE. We have already got a positive answer from Apple."
China Telecom may go all out for iPhone 5 deal
China Telecom may have an all-out marketing campaign for its iPhone 5 launch if details given by a purported corporate insider. Referred to as the "Dragon Plan" by the Southern Metropolis Daily newspaper, it would see the second-largest Chinese carrier spend the equivalent of $234.6 million to market Apple's hardware. Pre-orders would start in September with the expected release in October.
Near-future iPhone plans uncertain
China Mobile has met several times with Apple CEO Steve Jobs on the subject of adopting the iPhone, Reuters reports. The information emerged from executives speaking at a China Mobile press conference. The carrier already has some 7.44 million iPhone users on its network, even though the only official Chinese iPhone network is China Unicom.
Nokia to tackle China mobile market with WP7
Nokia is planning on entering the large Chinese mobile phone market with its forthcoming Windows Phone 7 devices. A Nokia executive speaking in Beijing, Colin Giles, said that it plans on launching its new handsets on China Mobile’s 3G network using the TD-SCDMA standard. Giles did not offer a launch timeframe, but indicated that China would continue to figure strongly in Nokia’s plans moving forward.
Analyst says China Telecom has sure iPhone 5 deal
Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White pointed to a possible clue that Apple had largely finalized a deal for the iPhone 5 on China Telecom. Pointing to a Sohu news post, he understood the carrier had reached a "preliminary agreement" to carry two different versions of the iPhone as early as late October. The designs would include the genuinely new iPhone as well as the cheaper iPhone 4 version to help counter low-end Android.
Motorola Atrix sequel may get 8MP, 1080p recording
Motorola may have a refresh or full-fledged sequel to the Atrix 4G based on a new leak of photos. The design is similar on a basic level but makes clear changes to the speaker, camera, and other subtle elements. While not much is mentioned of the insides, a flip around back by ePrice's source shows an eight-megapixel camera with "HD 1080p" video recording, suggesting both a better camera than the five-megapixel sensor with 720p video of today as well as a faster processor than the Atrix 4G's Tegra 2.
Verizon hints iPhone 5 in fall as China expands
Verizon COO and soon-to-be CEO Lowell McAdam during the conference call for spring results said his company was anticipating the next iPhone's launch in the fall. Although he claimed Verizon didn't know when the new model would ship, the carrier was planning for a "significant jump" in business during the fall. Verizon had anticipated a release in the summer but didn't get that.
Could be first simultaneous US-Chinese launch
At least China Unicom and China Telecom will be carrying the next-generation iPhone, claims Caixin. The Chinese analysis firm quotes an unidentified source. It adds though that China Mobile -- the world's largest cellphone carrier, with over 611 million subscribers -- will not be the first in the country to sell the new device.
China Telecom gets CDMA iPhone late 2011
A late-night leak Tuesday has backed China Telecom carrying the iPhone by "close" to the end of 2011. Thanks to the existence of CDMA models, the company has all the technology and just needs to complete a deal. One Reuters tip warned that Apple's often strict negotiations didn't guarantee a deal, but another had the release narrowed down to November.