Free Newsletter

China Mobile questions iPhone business case

CEO tells developers that there are profit, not technical issues holding up iPhone launch, also moves to self-branded handsets

By CAROLINE GABRIEL

Published: 6 December, 2012

READ MORE: China | iPhone

The president of China Mobile is the latest cellco executive to cast doubt on the business case for the iPhone. Echoing several operators which have critized the impact of Apple's heavy subsidy burden on profits, he told a conference that this issue was behind his hestitation in launching an iPhone, not compatibility with his firm's unique TD-SCDMA 3G network technology. This comes at a time when Mobile wants to increase the control it has over the mobile user experience - another area where it has clashed with Apple in the past - and is planning its own-branded smartphones.

According to Unwired View, President Li Yue told the China Mobile Worldwide Developers Conference: "Technology is not a problem, it's mainly about business model and benefit sharing issues." He added: "Apple is one of the greatest terminal manufacturers around the world. We started making contact in 2007. China Mobile and Apple still have to solve many issues, such as the business model, articles of cooperation and revenue division."


Such public comments are likely to be a bargaining ploy rather than outright rejection of the iPhone - particularly the rumored TD-LTE version which could reach Mobile's trial 4G networks next year. Indeed, Yue concluded by saying: "I believe we will reach an agreement eventually."

However, his discussion highlights that Apple may not be able to dictate terms so successfully to large cellcos in future.

Meanwhile, China Mobile plans to start selling handsets under its own brand, mainly to fill gaps which it feels are not well addressed by the big name OEMs. Li Yue, speaking at the same conference, compared the strategy to that of US retail giant Wal-Mart. "We will not compete with other industry mobile phone vendors," he said. "When Wal-Mart sells other producers' merchandise, the company also provide customers with its self-branded products."

Related Stories

Share

  • email story Email
  • print story Print
  • digit digit
  • facebook facebook
  • Twitter Twitter
  • Linked-in Linked-In
  • Comments (0)

COMMENTS

Add Comment
No comments yet. Be the first to add a comment!
MARKET PLACE

    BYOD: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    An in-depth insight into the rise of BYOD policies within the enterprise and analysis of the impact the trend will have on IT departments,...

    Voice Command, Control and Search on Mobile Phones: Market Analysis & Forecasts

    This report provides a comprehensive insight into the growing importance of voice command, control and search on handsets, analysing...

    Data Centre Network Equipment: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    This report provides a global assessment of the data centre network equipment market. Besides assessing the key market trends, sub-markets...

    HetNet Market Summary & Forecasts: Macro Cells, Small Cells & Wi-Fi Offload

    Carriers are struggling to cope with the explosion of data traffic on their networks, and the additional deployment of LTE and legacy...

    Over-the-Top Communications: Threats & Opportunities for Mobile Operators

    This report examines the implications of widespread adoption of mobile over-the-top IP communications for mobile operators, handset...

    Portable Gaming Consoles: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    This report provides a global assessment of the PGC market. In addition to assessing the key market drivers, market barriers, vendor...
WHITE PAPERS

    Satellite Phones: Will Dual Mode Help the Phoenix Rise from the Ashes?

    Satellite phones have followed an arduous path since their much-hyped launch more than a decade ago. The hype was followed by an e...

    Mobile Widget Platform Market Analysis: Understanding the Business Case and ROI

    This white paper presents an analysis of the mobile widget platform market, as well as metrics supporting a mobile carrier?s busin...

POST COMMENT

You must be a registered user to post a comment. or
Username *
Email *
Comment *