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

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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China Telecom says it will sell the iPhone 4S in a month

Earlier this month, we reported that China Telecom earned the necessary approvals to launch the iPhone 4S on China’s third-largest carrier. Today, the China Telecom subsidiary Beijing Telecom issued a press release (via China Daily) and said the Beijing-based company will launch the iPhone 4S as early as the end of February or beginning of March.

A CDMA version of the iPhone 4S will launch on the network. The press release gave no word on pricing for the device, but it will likely fall in line with the other networks.

China Telecom currently boasts 36.3 million 3G subscribers, while in comparison the nation’s largest carrier China Mobile Ltd., boasts 51.2 million 3G subscribers. Obviously, the launch of the iPhone 4S brings a lot of excitement in China, and it gives Apple the chance to add new customers. Moreover, launching on China Mobile would add an abundance of new customers, but that does not look to be happening anytime soon.

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No more iPhones in Beijing and Shanghai ‘for the time being’, Apple warns as analysts criticize China launch delays

Yesterday’s eagerly awaited iPhone 4S launch in China quickly turned into chaos as an ugly brawl between gangs of professional scalpers grew out of control. Beijing SWAT teams intervened to calm down hundreds of angry customers and tame the rowdy lines. The New York Times explained that scalpers hired migrant workers to stand in the line and buy the phone. As Apple said it would not open the store, those individuals, identifiable by matching armbands or hats, got angry because they were not going to be paid.

An Apple spokeswoman issued the  following statement following the incident (via Reuters):

Unfortunately, we were unable to open our store at Sanlitun due to the large crowd. And to ensure the safety of our customers and our employees, iPhones will not be available in our retails stores in Beijing and Shanghai for the time being.

Instead, Apple noted, customers could order the iPhone 4S on the online Apple store or through one of the many China Unicom retail outlets, the country’s exclusive iPhone carrier. However, the iconic smartphone was out of stock on the Chinese online Apple Store at the time of this writing.

As you know, Apple rarely goes on the record unless absolutely necessary, so the statement is an indication of how the launch spiraled out of control. Moreover, the egg-throwing incident inspired funny remarks on Twitter. Really, who goes to buy a new iPhone with a pocket full of eggs? Let’s just hope this situation won’t snowball into a public relations nightmare and become a theme for another anti-Apple advert by Samsung.

In the meantime, one analyst pointed out that Apple must learn from this turmoil and consider launching its products in China and United States simultaneously. Another incredible riot clip, egg throwing video and additional tidbits are displayed after the break.


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