Is Apple Close to Striking a Deal With China Mobile?
Last month in Beijing, Apple CEO Tim Cook met with Xi Guohua, his counterpart at China Mobile, which prompted a flurry of speculation as to what might be coming next. According to MSN, after revealing the his company’s half-year results, Xi spoke to reporters, saying: “We are actively negotiating and both sides are keen. There are still some commercial and technology issues that need time to resolve.”
The timing couldn’t seem to be better for Apple, which is nearing a potential launch of its cheaper and more lean version of the iPhone and needs a competitive edge in emerging markets. Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android has had a major lead on Apple in these markets for some time, but the opportunity for Apple in China is still large.
China Mobile’s network is already hacked by people who bought iPhones elsewhere, on the order of 15 to 25 million users. If the numbers add up for Apple, the time could be right to break in to China Mobile’s 740 million user base and reinvigorate lackluster earnings.