According to an incorrect Wall Street Journal report citing an anonymous source, Apple and China Mobile finally struck a deal for the world’s largest mobile carrier to offer the iPhone on its network. However, China Mobile quelled the rumor, with a spokesperson responding “We are still negotiating with Apple, but for now we have nothing new to announce.”
Apple also declined to comment.
Currently, the iPhone is only offered on China Telecom and China Unicom’s 3G networks. The device is already popular on China Mobile despite not being officially available on the network.
However, the conclusion of this long-awaited deal would mean big business for Apple.
According to Forbes:
“China Mobile had 759 million users at the end of October and has been adding about 5 million additional users every month for the past 4 and a half years. It has 176 million using 3G technology (23% of its base) and has been adding almost 7 million a month over the past year.”
To put that into perspective, 759 million people is over 10% of the world’s population.
While the majority of these customers will not be able to afford an iPhone, the deal will nevertheless increase Apple’s (already large) revenues “At 15 million iPhones with an ASP of $550 they would generate $8.3 billon in revenue and add 4.5% to Apple’s revenue growth in the first year.”
In light of the Wall Street Journal’s preemptive article and the recent granting of a network-access license for the iPhone, the deal seems incredibly close to fruition.
By Maea Lenei Buhre