China Mobile iPhone launch could lead to subsidy wars, say analysts

Image: thenextweb.com

Image: thenextweb.com

Analysts say that the official launch of the iPhone on China Mobile could lead to subsidy wars as Chinese carriers compete to attract buyers. The predictions, quoted by Business Insider, follow price cuts by rival carriers China Unicom and China Telecom as China Mobile reports 1.2 million pre-orders.

China Mobile is currently offering the iPhone 5s free with a 24-month contract costing the equivalent of $98 a month. A 30-month contract on China Unicom costs $63 a month.

I do think you’re going to see a subsidy war coming,” said Michael Clendenin, managing director of Shanghai-based RedTech Advisors. “China Mobile, if they’re not making their targets on sales for these phones, they’re going to increase the subsidies [...] It’s like airlines: the other guys will fall like dominoes, so China Unicom will do it and China Telecom will do it” …  Read more

In rare TV interview, Tim Cook says he is ‘honored’ to be doing business with China Mobile

In a rare TV interview, Tim Cook described this week’s launch of the iPhone on China Mobile as “a watershed day” for the company. While the soft-spoken Apple CEO is noted for the humbleness with which he speaks, it’s hard to imagine him describing Apple as being “honored” to do business with many other companies.

I’m so honored to be doing business with … China Mobile. It’s a huge announcement…we’re incredibly impressed with them, we have deep respect for them, and have had from the very first discussion that we’ve had together” …  Read more

China Telecom apparently slips iPhone 5S, 5C arriving in China at launch, temporarily offers pre-orders

iPhone 5S Rear Shell

“Gold” iPhone 5S backplate

China Telecom, one of the carriers in China to carry Apple’s iPhone, posted a message on microblogging website Weibo indicating that it will soon carry both of Apple’s upcoming iPhones: the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. The message has since been deleted.

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With Apple holding a satellite stream of the September 10th media event in China, it is already likely that the country will see a promoted launch of both of the new iPhones. However, the information from China Telecom seems to indicate that the launch will occur early in Apple’s new iPhone release cycle. With past iPhone launches, Apple saved the China debut for weeks or months after the device’s first hit countries like the United States, Germany, and Australia.

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A post on Sina indicates a September 20th launch, a date forecasted by some reports.

Perhaps corroborating a launch soon after the unveiling, major China-based retailer Dixintong is said to begin carrying the new iPhones on September 25th. It’s unclear if this is a general launch date for China, or just the date that this specific retailer has chosen.

In addition to seeing the device early-on in the release plan, recent chatter seems to indicate that China Mobile, the largest mobile carrier in the country, will gain the iPhone with the launches of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. The lower-cost, plastic backed iPhone 5C seems to have been developed with markets such as China in mind…

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Tim Cook visits China again hoping to entice local carriers with upcoming iPhones

Tim-Cook-ChinaJanuary File Photo

According to a local Chinese report, Apple CEO Tim Cook was recently back in China hoping to jumpstart relations with Chinese carriers this week. Cook met with China Telecom, already a strong Apple partner. The topic of conversation wasn’t revealed but likely on the plate is Apple’s lower cost plastic iPhone, perhaps called the iPhone 5C, and overall flattening growth in Apple’s second biggest market.

The article speculates that he probably met with the other local carriers including partner China Unicom and the world’s biggest carrier, China Mobile who has around 700M subscribers – none of which have direct access to Apple’s iPhone yet.

It is Cook’s third known trip to China since he took over as CEO almost two years ago. Other things that may come up include Pegatron’s supposed worker violation issues and perhaps even another Beijing scalping problem.

Rough translation below: Read more

200,000 pre-orders later, China Telecom’s 130 million CDMA customers get access to the iPhone 4S today


image via M.I.C. Gadget

Sina Tech reports that CDMA iPhone 4S’s are being snapped up by its 130 million mobile subscribers today after the No. 2 player in the world’s largest mobile market recieved 200,000 pre-orders (and counting) starting last week.

We previously noted that the iPhone 4S on China Telecom would be available in every configuration: 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. The phone will start at “free” with a contract. China Telecom received its license to sell the iPhone in January. China Telecom officially announced it would begin selling the iPhone 4S last month.

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iPhone scalpers in China on the decrease as Apple resumes online sales of iPhone 4S, shipping by March 2

Last week we told you about a new online lottery system for reservations that Apple setup for iPhone 4S sales through its Hong Kong stores to combat scalpers after it was forced to suspend sales of the device in various locations throughout Mainland China. Unfortunately, until this week, Apple’s online store for China has been out of stock since the overwhelming launch.

After implementing the new reservation policies on Tuesday, and in Beijing on Wednesday, Apple has now resumed online sales of the device with shipments arriving to customers no later than March 2, reported ChinaDaily. Apple’s online store for Mainland China now lists the iPhone 4S with an expected delivery time of “February.” Customers are limited to two devices with all three models currently available in both black and white. An Apple employee confirmed the March 2 date to ChinaDaily:

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