Will Apple and China Mobile Partner Up?

passbook appleApple (NASDAQ:AAPL) chief executive Tim Cook’s meeting this week with the chairman of China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) has made much noise due to the possibility of a partnership between the two companies. While the relationship will be symbiotic as far as growth is concerned, according to Epoch analyst David Pearl, the iPhone maker was definitely the one more in need. According to a statement from China Mobile, Cook and chairman Xi Guohua discussed “matters of cooperation.”

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If Apple doesn’t land a deal with the world largest carrier, it stands to lose critical share of the Chinese market to competitors, Pearl said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell”. And that, in turn, will severely affect the company’s future growth prospects. “To really grow they’ll need the dominant carrier, which is China Mobile,” Pearl said. “And really China will be their biggest market in a few years and they need this outlet to get there.”

A deal with the carrier will give Apple access to a 700 million-strong subscriber base and help it arrest the slide in its share of the world’s biggest smartphone market. Apple was placed sixth on the list of top smartphone sellers in the country in the September-ending quarter, although it already has partnerships with China Unicom (NYSE:CHU) and China Telecom (NYSE:CHA).