It was a Merry Christmas indeed for those who wanted to own stylish and classy iPhone in China. After series of talks and a lengthy courtship, technology giant Apple and China Mobile, world’s biggest phone carrier reached a deal with an official announcement coming on 22nd December, 2013.
China Mobile subscribers have the option of pre-ordering iPhones since 25th December, 2013 onwards. In the wake of this deal, Apple 5S and 5C will go on sale in Apple stores and China Mobile stores beginning Friday, January 17th in the coming New Year. Tim Cook, Apple CEO told the Xinhua News Agency in January that he expects China to surpass the United States, as the biggest market for iPhone. China has already shown signs of great business potential for iPhone. According to analyst estimates some 50 million iPhones have been sold in China in the least 2 ½ years.
The tie-up is being touted as one of the biggest partnership announcements made by Apple Inc. in several years. The Chinese firm is the world’s largest carrier with more than 760 million subscribers. It is also one of three networks to be awarded China’s first 4G licenses earlier this month and they plan to extend 4G services to iPhones. China Mobile being a leading telecom player in world’s most populous country, it allows Apple to gain access to a more robust network. It will ensure faster data speeds and fewer dropped call complaints than rivals.
Great profit prospect for Apple
Apple looks to tap enormous potential of Chinese market, thereby giving a boost to its already ringing profit registers. It will also tackle the competition faced by Apple by the rise of lower priced rival smartphones from South Korean company Samsung and Chinese companies such as Huawei and Lenovo.
Presently, Apple has subsidy engagements with China Telecom and China Unicom, which together account for only 35% of China’s wireless subscriber base. This partnership will aid Apple in warding off growing competition from manufacturers using Google owned smartphone operating system Android.
Trefis, a research firm have predicted a sale of about 1.5 million iPhones per month for China Mobile thereby gaining almost 20 million additional iPhone activations in 2014. This would easily represent a 17% increase from Apple’s unit sales of handsets in the fiscal year that ended September, 28. According to experts, Apple stands to post an increase in revenues of about five percent in 2014 owing to the deal alone.
Apart from all the fortunes that the deal is due to bring for both the parties, it is surely going to be bliss for the users as well.