APPLE, CHINA TELECOM AGREE TO SELL IPHONE IN CHINA FROM NEXT MONTH
- Apple Inc has signed with China Telecom to sell its iPhone in China from next month as it looks to boost its flagging share of the world's biggest mobile phone market, Reuters reported.
While Apple has now signed up with two of China's big three carriers, the biggest, China Mobile Ltd, with more than 600 million subscribers, doesn't yet have compatible technology.
China Mobile has been aggressively negotiating with Apple to sell the iPhone, but it uses a home-grown proprietary 3G technology called TD-SCDMA that Apple doesn't support. It is, however, trialing its 4G TD-LTE network, with a commercial launch expected late this year or early in 2013, which will serve as a precursor to a deal with Apple.
Apple's smartphone market share in China, where the number of mobile phone users will top 1 billion this year, has fallen in the last two quarters, and it ranked fifth in October-December with 7.5 percent, overtaken by fast-growing local firm ZTE Corp.
China Telecom, valued at more than $46 billion but still ranked the smallest of China's big three carriers, said on Tuesday, Feb 21, it would take online applications for the iPhone 4S from March 2, and aimed to commence sales on March 9, bundling a phone with a service contract. It follows China Unicom in striking a deal to sell the popular iPhone in a mobile market where the total number of subscribers rose 1.2 percent last month to 987.58 million.
China Telecom said it would increase marketing following the launch of the iPhone 4S, which should boost its long-term sustainable growth, but could squeeze short-term profitability.
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