China Telecom Stories September 20, 2013

$0 down on both 5c and 5s in China, but high monthly cost and 3-year lock-in

TechInAsia reports that Chinese buyers are buying from China Unicom rather than Apple as the carrier offers both iPhone 5c and 5s with no up-front cost.

The catch? Monthly costs higher than in the USA, and contracts that run for either 30 or 36 months. Those monthly costs are massive in a country where the average monthly salary is around $800, and a 36-month contract means that buying an iPhone 5c or 5s today will see you sitting out the iPhone 6 and 6s/c/whoknowswhat.

It’s estimated that China already had 42M iPhone users before the launch of the new phones, and before they were officially supported by any of the local carriers.

Full comparison of U.S. and China Unicom costs below … 

China Telecom Stories September 11, 2013

All systems go for iPhone in China as regulator signs off final license

Apple now has all three of the licenses needed to allow the new iPhones to be used on China’s three major carriers: China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. The WSJ reports that the final license was issued today.

According to the website of China’s Telecom Equipment Certification Center Wednesday, Apple was given a “network access license” for a handset resembling the iPhone that runs on the mobile standards used by China Mobile for third and fourth generation cellular services.

Apple announced yesterday that both iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s would go on sale in China on September 20th, in parallel with the US launch.

Analysts have estimated that Chinese and Japanese sales combined could add up to an extra 38M handsets a year.

China Telecom Stories September 5, 2013

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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China Telecom Stories July 30, 2013

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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: expand full story

China Telecom Stories December 5, 2012

China Mobile president: technology isn’t holding back iPhone 5 launch, but agreements with Apple

The iPhone 5 is set to ship in China December 14 on the nation’s second and third largest carriers: China Unicom and China Telecom. However absent from the launch is China Mobile, the nation’s (and world’s) largest telecom that boasts a user base of 703 million subscribers. It’s presumed the reason why the iPhone hasn’t yet launched on China Mobile is because of the network’s specific TD-SCDMA technology that isn’t used elsewhere, however that may not be the case. Unwired View reports today that while speaking at China Mobile’s 2012 Developer Conference, the company’s president Li Yue stated “technology is not a problem, [it’s] mainly about business model and benefit-sharing issues.”

Of course Yue’s comment doesn’t necessarily mean we can bank on the iPhone 5 landing on China Mobile any time soon, but it does show that Apple and the company have at least held advanced discussions, including pricing and shared revenue. In 2011, the Wall Street Journal reported that a China Mobile iPhone launch was getting closer. Additionally, China Mobile chairman Wang Jianzhou said his company is in constant talks with Apple, and  Apple CEO Tim Cook visited China Mobile’s headquarters last summer to presumably discuss the possibility of supporting 4G-LTE radio technology. The iPhone 5, with its accompanying 4G, was expected to launch on China Mobile, but never did/still hasn’t.

China Mobile is important to Apple and its aggressive attack into China. The carrier would add a slew of customers that may otherwise be looking to Samsung to fulfill their smartphone needs. That’s not to say China Mobile is not harboring iPhone users like T-Mobile here stateside, with 15 million customers using unlocked iPhones as of Spring this year. Today’s note that technology is not holding the iPhone back from China Mobile is definitely interesting, as we presume China Mobile is working with or against Apple’s strong arm. [Unwired View]

China Telecom Stories December 3, 2012

China Unicom makes iPhone 5 available for pre-order, sees 100K orders on first day

Josh Ong for The Next Web:

After Apple announced late last week that the iPhone 5 is coming to China on December 14, China Unicom, the country’s second-largest wireless operator, began taking reservations on Monday, quickly receiving 100,000 online pre-orders, Sina Tech reports….Meanwhile, China Telecom, which began selling Apple’s smartphone on its network earlier this year with the release of the iPhone 4S, reportedly received 5,000 pre-orders for the iPhone 5 on Sunday.

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