John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Did Tim Cook Pay a Call on China Mobile to Talk iPhone?

Apple CEO Tim Cook traveled to China earlier this week to discuss intellectual property issues and greater cooperation. As an Apple spokesperson told AllThingsD, “China is very important to us, and we look forward to even greater investment and growth here.”

But Cook’s trip may have had another purpose: Finalizing Apple’s long-in-the-offing iPhone deal with China Mobile, China’s largest wireless carrier. Sources say Cook visited China Mobile’s Beijing offices, and while they offered no details beyond that, it’s not much of a leap to conclude that he was there to talk about the iPhone, which is currently offered by China Mobile rivals China Unicom and China Telecom.

“We wouldn’t be surprised if Cook was exploring a deal to distribute the iPhone with China Mobile, Mainland China’s largest mobile phone carrier,” Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes said in a note to clients. “We believe that China Mobile could sell the upcoming iPhone 5 by C1H13, after a fall launch in the U.S.”

That seems a reasonable prediction. Certainly it’s in Apple’s best interests to sign a distribution deal with China Mobile. If, at long last, it was able to add the device to the carrier’s portfolio, it would gain access to an additional 120 million subscribers. That’s a massive addressable market, and one that Apple can’t ignore much longer.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik