Sunday 8 September 2013

Apple reportedly signs iPhone 5C deal with China Mobile

When Apple sent out separate invites for a special event on September 11, it was highly speculated that the phone maker plans to announce a new partnership with China Mobile. Now adding fuel to it is the new WSJ report that further confirms the deal, as reveled to it by people familiar with the matter.

The new partnership is likely to give it access to an estimated 744 million potential China Mobile subscribers, which is seven times the size of US's largest carrier Verizon Wireless. Greater China is reportedly Apple's third biggest market after the US and Europe in terms of sales.

Reportedly, the sources even confirm the company plans to unveil high-end as well as cheaper iPhone models at the event to be held in China. Apple has supposedly directed its manufacturing partner Foxconn to add China Mobile to the list of carriers which will be receiving the low-cost iPhone.

With this move, Apple is preparing to take on the stiff competition that it is facing from other manufacturers such as Samsung. According to the report, the company’s sales in Greater China dropped by 14 percent compared to the previous year during its fiscal third quarter ended June 29. In the June quarter, Apple's China market share fell to 5 percent, and is now ranked seventh putting it behind manufactures such as Samsung, Lenovo and Huawei.

On the other hand, overall smartphone shipments in China are estimated to have risen by 84 percent to 352 million units this year, which is more than double than that of the U.S., according to research firm Canalys. China overtook U.S. as the world's biggest smartphone market last year.

Reportedly, Apple was initially reluctant to bring its iPhone to China Mobile’s unreliable third-generation network but China Mobile bristled at Apple's insistence on sales volume guarantees. Another issue that Apple faces in the Chinese market is the price, which is expensive for most consumers compared to what other brands are offering. Looks like, Apple is hoping the cheaper iPhone will help it bounce back in the Chinese market.

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