China Mobile Stories September 18, 2014

china

Reuters is reporting that Apple has now received one of the two licences needed to allow it to sell the iPhone 6 in China. There is no word yet on the second licence required before the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus can be launched in this hugely important market.

Apple Inc’s iPhone 6 received regulatory approval for use on domestic frequencies but still requires one more critical licence before it may be sold in the country, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday […]

Apple still needs to obtain a critical network access licence for the iPhone, after which sales may begin, Xinhua said …

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China Mobile Stories September 2, 2014

Tens of thousands of people have pre-ordered the (not yet existent) iPhone 6 through China Mobile

China Mobile has started accepting pre-orders for the iPhone 6. Yes, the one that hasn’t been announced yet. Apparently people are excited to finally get a chance to pre-order a phone they know nothing about, too, given that over 33,000 have reportedly already taken advantage of the offer.

The carrier is offering both the 4.7″ and the 5.5″ models in 16, 32, and 64 GB. Nobody who has ordered the phone actually knows when they’ll get it, given that—much like the handset itself—the release date hasn’t been announced yet.

The iPhone 6 will officially be announced next week, probably alongside a preview of a wearable device of some sort, at an Apple media event.

China Mobile Stories August 22, 2014

china-telecom

If you thought things were messy with U.S. networks, Verizon and Sprint using CMDA and AT&T and T-Mobile using GSM, things are even worse in China – with WCDMA, CDMA2000, CDMA1X, GSM, TDD-LTE and FDD-LTE all in use by different carriers in different combinations.

The iPhone 6 may be about to make life a whole lot easier, though, with Sina (via ZDNet) reporting that the model sold by China Telecom at least will support all of the wireless networks in use in the country, based on a Weibo post by the carrier. Admittedly the image used in the Weibo above looks a little different than the general consensus we’ve seen before – they were created by Tomas Moyano and Nicolàs Aichino, and China Telecom likely downloaded them from Bēhance.

That aside, the message they are sending might be more interesting…

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China Mobile Stories July 22, 2014

aapl

With Fortune having now filled in the blanks in its analyst roundup, above are the final numbers Wall Street expects Apple to announce at around 1.30pm PT/4.30pm ET this afternoon.

With all 34 analysts having revealed their predictions, the consensus view is for year-on-year revenue to have grown by 8.5 percent, with earnings up 18.1 percent …  expand full story

China Mobile Stories June 3, 2014

cook

With so many new iOS and OS X features being introduced in yesterday’s WWDC keynote, the numbers that kicked off the show perhaps didn’t get the attention they otherwise might have done.

While the Wall Street line is that the smartphone market is saturated and iPhone and iPad growth is done, Tim Cook clearly thinks otherwise. Business Insider highlighted Cook’s comment on the migration Apple is seeing from Android phones.

“Over 130 million customers who bought an iOS device in the past 12 months were buying their first Apple device,” said Cook before introducing iOS 8, the new software for the iPhone and iPad. “Many of these customers were switchers from Android. They had bought an Android phone — by mistake. Then had sought a better experience … And a better life. And decided to check out iPhone and iOS.”

He added, “Nearly half of our customers in China in the past six months switch from Android to iPhone. This is incredible.”

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China Mobile Stories April 17, 2014

iphones

Fortune has its usual roundup of what the analysts are expecting Apple to report in iPhone sales next week, and the forecasts make worrying reading. The overall average is for quarterly sales of 38.2 million, which would represent year-on-year growth of just two percent.

averages

Adding to the concern, ten of the 32 analysts included in Fortune‘s poll predict a fall in sales when compared to the same quarter last year.

With the new iPhones having generated record sales in their opening weekend, and Apple having reported all-time quarterly high iPhone sales in Q1, the question is why the pessimism regarding Q2 … ?  expand full story

China Mobile Stories March 20, 2014

A man holds a new Apple iPhone 5S next to his iPhone 5 at an Apple Store at Tokyo's Ginza shopping district

Photo: readwrite.com

China Mobile announced that it sold 1.34M 4G handsets in February and that “most of them” were iPhones. China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua was relatively non-committal on the numbers.

It’s just been getting started for one or two months. So far it’s hard to tell how that will affect our business […]

We are happy with the progress as we are still building our 4G network and the coverage is only available in some major cities.

Analyst estimates of likely sales had varied widely. Most had predicted at least 15-17M sales a year in China as a whole, however, suggesting that 1M in a month on what is by far the country’s largest carrier may be somewhat lower than anticipated …  expand full story

China Mobile Stories March 17, 2014

compared-to-the-iphone-5s-this-chart-shows-the-iphone-5c-has-bombed-in-china

The South China Morning Post is reporting that the iPhone 5c, created by Apple to target growth markets like China, has hit only a 2 percent share of all iOS devices after four months, in contrast to the iPhone 5s with a 12 percent share and the original iPhone 5 with around 15 percent …  expand full story

China Mobile Stories March 13, 2014

Get into AAPL in April, suggests analyst, anticipating soft Q2 numbers before new products kick in

Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair has suggested that Apple’s share price could be temporarily depressed by disappointing Q2 results in March before climbing by as much as 20 percent in response to new products in the fall, reports Barrons.

This gap between what is actually happening at Apple and investor sentiment is providing an opportunity for investors. We believe this opportunity should be taken advantage of before Apple’s next array of products hit the market, though the best time to own the stock may be in April after we get the March quarter/June guide behind us.

Blair cites several factors for expecting the stock to take a hit in March when Apple reports its earnings for its Q2 fiscal year (Q1 calendar year). Among them are the general slowdown in the saturated high-end smartphone market, continued soft demand for the iPhone 5c, overly-optimistic market forecasts for China Mobile sales and a reduction in the number of people upgrading their iPhone as they wait for the rumored larger-screen phone(s) in the fall.

The longer-term outlook is, however, excellent, believes Blair. He expects Touch ID to be rolled out across all iPhones and iPads in readiness for the launch of a mobile payment solution, and he thinks the expected larger iPhone 6 will sell well, especially in Asia.

In terms of completely new products, Blair is predicting the launch of the iWatch in September and a 12-inch display device he expects to see unveiled at WWDC, whether it is the much-rumored iPad Pro or a new 12-inch MacBook Air.

As ever, make your own decisions where investments are concerned …

Via CNET

China Mobile Stories February 24, 2014

Apple suing China’s patent office & Zhizhen Network Technology over Siri

Tim Cook during the China Mobile launch earlier this year

Amid Apple’s push to expand its presence in China with its new deal with China Mobile, AFP reports Apple is suing the State Intellectual Property Office in China as well as Zhizhen Network Technology.

The dispute is not a new one as Zhizhen Network Technology previously sued Apple over disputes with Siri and its Xiao i Robot product, but this time the roles are reversed. Furthermore, Apple is filing suit against the patent office responsible for protecting patent rights after the agency declined to invalidate Zhizhen’s patent, according to the report.

The case will be heard on Thursday by the Beijing Number one Intermediate People’s Court, but no ruling has been announced for the case heard last July yet, so we it may be some time before this concludes.

China Mobile Stories February 19, 2014

Apple’s market share in China started climbing even before China Mobile deal; Russian sales double

While smartphone growth is slowing in China, Apple managed to increase its market share from 6 to 7 percent in the final quarter of 2013, even before the China Mobile deal was struck. IDC figures reported by the WSJ show that Apple is now the fifth largest smartphone seller in the country, behind Samsung, Lenovo, Coolpad and Huawei. Xiaomi sits just behind Apple at 6 percent.

Apple’s share is likely to increase significantly in the current quarter, thanks to finally being sold through China’s largest carrier, China Mobile. The carrier has more than 760M subscribers, and analysts have estimated that the deal will generate between 15M and 30M additional iPhone sales in the course of 2014.

iPhone sales in Russia, meantime, doubled to 1.57M units with a total value of $1B, reports Bloomberg. Apple had struggled to persuade Russian carriers to sell the iPhone due to its high price and laws that forbid carriers from discounting up-front prices in return for signing up to lengthy contracts. After selling through electronics stores, however, three Russian carriers resumed selling iPhones within the past few months.

The so-called BRIC markets – Brazil, Russia, India and China – are of huge importance to Apple now that the U.S. and Europe have reached saturation point. While Apple will never compete in market share with the low-end Android handsets available in these markets, there is still significant growth potential at the high end. In an earlier WSJ interview, Tim Cook said:

I look at the mobile phone market as having three kinds of phones: feature phones, smartphones that function as or are used as feature phones, and real smartphones. I do care about the market share of the last category and you want to be relevant.

The importance of the BRIC markets was illustrated when it was revealed that Apple’s Asian sales had outstripped those of Europe even by Q1 of last year. Next quarter’s China numbers are going to make very interesting reading.

China Mobile Stories January 30, 2014

The changing world map of Apple’s customers in two charts

Apple’s efforts to secure the China Mobile deal were long, drawn out and likely involved rather more negotiation than the company is used to. But if you ever had any doubts as to the importance of those efforts in China, Japan and elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, the above two charts, compiled by Fortune, make the reason very clear.

The bad news for Apple is that revenue from its two biggest segments — Europe and the Americas — have begun to contract, not just as a percentage of total revenue, but in dollar terms as well. The good news is that Japan, Asia Pacific and Greater China have so far more than taken up the slack. In Q1 2014, Apple’s combined Asian sales were $17.4 billion, more than Europe ($13 billion) and closing in on the Americas ($20 billion).

China Mobile Stories January 27, 2014

Live blog: Apple’s Q1 2014 earnings call

As we mentioned earlier this month, Apple is scheduled to hold a conference call to discuss its earnings and sales figures from the previous quarter it reported today: including 51 million iPhones, 26 million iPads, and 4.8 million Macs. The company also reported $57.6 billion in revenue for the previous quarter. We’ll be listening in on the conference call and updating you on key developments as they play out, so follow along at 5pm EST.

China Mobile Stories January 20, 2014

fortune

With Apple due to report its earnings a week from today, Fortune has run its usual roundup on the numbers analysts are predicting.

The consensus among the 44 analysts we’ve heard from so far — 27 professionals and 17 amateurs — is unit sales of 55.3 million iPhones, up 16% from the same quarter last year.

It’s a near-certainty the numbers will be high …  expand full story

China Mobile Stories January 17, 2014

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” …  expand full story

China Mobile Stories January 16, 2014

BeJbFfPCQAAdEYk.jpg-large

As planned, iPhone sales have started via China Mobile, the largest carrier in China, today. The official iPhone China Mobile deal, which covers both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, was announced in December. Earlier this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook promoted the event with multiple interviews, calling the partnership a “beginning.” Subsequent reports indicated that millions of iPhones have already been ordered through China Mobile…

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China Mobile Stories January 15, 2014

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” …  expand full story

China Mobile Stories January 14, 2014

Tim Cook calls China Mobile launch ‘a beginning’ as Chairman says ‘multi-million’ iPhones ordered

Ahead of the launch of the iPhone on China Mobile on January 17th, Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with the Wall Street Journal and other publications for a brief interview. Cook hints that this iPhone deal is only the beginning of a longer-term partnership between Apple and China’s largest mobile carrier:

Speaking in a small media briefing to Chinese media and The Wall Street Journal, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said he is “incredibly optimistic” about the outcome of the cooperation with the Chinese carrier.

“We’ve gotten to know each other….today is a beginning, and I think there are lots more things our companies can do together in the future,” Mr. Cook said.

Cook is likely referring to future generations of the iPhone, and other products such as the iPad, appearing on China Mobile’s network in the future. Cook also shares that half a million of the App Store developers are from China:

Mr. Cook said Apple wants to reach as many Chinese consumers as possible by offering iPhones through China Mobile, and added that the country has more than half a million people writing apps for the U.S. company’s iOS operating system.

“Apple has always been about making the best products, not the most products, so that’s always our North Star and that’s not going to change ever,” said Mr. Cook.

“Multi-millions” of iPhones have already been pre-ordered through China Mobile, according to a statement from China Mobile’s Chairman in the same interview. Earlier today, the WSJ reported that over one million iPhone 5s units were shipped from Foxconn to China Mobile. 

Report: Apple ships 1.4 million iPhone 5s units to China Mobile ahead of Jan. 17 launch

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has shipped approximately 1.4 million iPhone 5S units to China Mobile in preparation of the carrier’s iPhone launch on Jan. 17. The report notes it likely doesn’t present sales for the full month of January with preorders having kicked off under three weeks ago, but it is a good indication of how many new iPhone customers Apple could potentially get on a monthly basis through the deal:

“Shipping one million or more iPhones to a single carrier per month is substantial. But we have limited visibility beyond this month as Apple hasn’t informed Foxconn of  the volume for the next shipment to China Mobile,” said the person.

Apple finally made things official last month when it announced in a press release that it had struck a deal with China Mobile to begin selling the iPhone 5s and 5c, marking the first time the iPhone would be sold through the carrier’s retail stores. China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier with over 760 million subscribers, started taking preorders for the device on December 25 following Apple’s announcement. No word on estimates for iPhone 5c shipments, but China Mobile is set to begin selling that device too starting Friday.

China Mobile Stories January 2, 2014

Wells Fargo downgrades AAPL based on gross margin concerns

Well Fargo has downgraded AAPL stock from ‘outperform’ to ‘market perform,’ citing the fact that the company’s gross margins have typically fallen 2.25 percent in the two quarters following the launch of a brand new iPhone model (rather than an S upgrade).

Our bullish thesis on Apple had been predicated on the expectation for gross margin (GM) expansion driven by the 5s cycle. While we still have conviction in the gross margin thesis (and the potential for iPad/iPhone unit upside), we believe this may be largely embedded into the valuation.

The bank has not changed its valuation range of $536 to $581, though is presumably now expecting something toward the lower end of the range.

Wells Fargo’s Maynard Um said that he also believed the balance of power may be shifting away from Apple to the carriers as they shift away from subsidized deals (read: disguised loans) to higher up-front costs and/or separate phone financing.

China Mobile Stories December 23, 2013

aapl

After the fall in Apple’s stock value when the China Mobile failed to materialise as expected on 18th December, yesterday’s news that the deal had finally been concluded sent the stock shooting back up again, having climbed more than 3 percent at the time of writing (it was up 4% in pre-market trading but has settled).

With the WSJ having reported that 18th December was the day, the market was clearly jittery when nothing materialized. Everything had appeared to be in place: regulatory approval, Apple putting the handsets on sale in China on the opening weekend, China Mobile posters, a pre-order website, in-store displays – and 4G service up-and-running on schedule …  expand full story

China Mobile Stories December 20, 2013

Photo: arstechnica.net

Photo: arstechnica.net

KGI’s Mingchi Kuo has suggested in a note to investors that the mystery of the apparent delay in the iPhone launching on the world’s largest carrier, China Mobile, may be due to last-minute renegotiations with Apple on volume discounts across the two new models.

We believe weak sales of iPhone 5C may trigger a re-negotiation of the Apple-China Mobile partnership. While previously we estimated that Apple originally planned the TD-LTE version would account for 30% of total iPhone 5C shipments, our latest survey indicates that demand for the TD-LTE iPhone 5C has declined dramatically due to 5S being far more popular than 5C among China Mobile subscribers […]

We believe this would necessitate a re-negotiation of the Apple-China Mobile deal and therefore defer its finalization …

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China Mobile Stories December 18, 2013

chinamobile

AAPL stock took a 1.8 percent hit in pre-market trading as China Mobile not only failed to announce its iPhone launch today as had been expected, but its chairman Xi Guohua specifically told reporters that the world’s largest carrier had no announcement to make.

While neither Apple nor China Mobile ever officially confirmed today as the launch date, the Chinese government confirmed the date as the one on which 4G service would begin, China Mobile had said it would launch “a new brand” today and the WSJ seemed confident last month that today was the day.

The deal has been a very long time in the coming, but all the pieces of the puzzle looked to have fallen into place …  expand full story

China Mobile Stories December 13, 2013

China Mobile aggressively showcasing iPhones & iPads during initial launch with Apple

Apple and China Mobile appear to be taking their newly established partnership and marketing it proudly as the Chinese service provider has devoted a majority of one of its retail locations to the iPhone and iPad line.

PRC and Me shared several photos taken at the retail location showing several ads and marketing material dedicated to the Apple products in a store once dominated by Samsung and other Android handsets.

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