China Mobile’s iPhone Talks Evidently Never-Ending
Apple CEO Tim Cook’s visit with China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua in Beijing last month sparked all manner of speculation that the long-rumored iPhone deal between the two companies is finally in the offing. But, according to Xi, the two companies have yet to finalize a deal that would bring the iPhone to China Mobile’s more than 700 million subscribers.
During a press conference in Hong Kong Thursday, following its latest earnings report, Xi said that China Mobile is still in a “deliberation process” with Apple about an iPhone distribution agreement.
Quite the “deliberation process.” By my count, it’s well into its fifth year.
“We are actively negotiating and both sides are keen,” Xi said, adding that there are still some technical issues that must be resolved before a deal can be signed. Presumably, those issues revolve around China Mobile’s current TD-SCDMA network, which doesn’t work with today’s iPhone.
So, when might we expect an iPhone deal between China Mobile and Apple? Said Xi, “We will make an announcement when we sign a contract.”