Here’s How China Mobile’s Competitors Are Responding to the Apple Deal

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Source: Gonzalo Baeza H / Flickr

At the end of 2013, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) finally announced a partnership that has been brewing for six years, giving Apple access to sell its iPhones to customers on the world’s largest wireless carrier by subscribers with the hopes of boosting its market share in the world’s largest smartphone market.

Now, China Mobile competitor China Telecom (NYSE:CHA) is slashing the price of its iPhones in response to the deal, according to a report from Bloomberg. The prices on the phones were cut 15 percent, according to promotional material seen by Bloomberg at China Telecom retailers in Beijing. Through a combination of price cuts and gifts, the price of an iPhone 5S on the carrier was reduced from 5,288 yuan to 4,488 yuan.

China Mobile is set to begin selling the iPhone on its network next week after accepting preorders on Christmas Day. Pricing and possible subsidies for the iPhones on China Mobile have not yet been made public.

Analysts have been weighing in on the China Mobile deal with Apple months before it was officially announced. While the general consensus is that Apple will benefit from the deal, which grants the company access to 700 million subscribers, analysts vary in how many iPhones they believe Apple can sell to Chinese consumers. Estimates of China Mobile’s iPhone sales in 2014 have varied from less than 10 million (Bank of America) to up to 24 million (Cantor Fitzgerald).

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