Moreover, there are many diehard Apple fans in China, where brand-conscious consumers have shown an insatiable appetite for iPhones. It’s important to note that China has already become Apple’s second largest market after the U.S. If an Apple-China Mobile partnership deal materializes in 2013, “Apple could win over 13% of China Mobile’s 3G customers, grabbing sales of 10 million to 16 million iPhones in the first year alone,” Amit Daryanami, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, recently told Forbes.
Of course, China Mobile subscribers could buy full-price iPhones on the open market and use them on China Mobile’s slower 2G network. (China Mobile uses its own proprietary TD-SCDMA standard, hence iPhones don’t now work on its faster network.) To my surprise, as many as 20 million China Mobile customers are believed to be already doing just that.
How Nokia’s Lumia 920T Windows 8 smartphones might actually claim mind share among Chinese consumers at a level approaching the iPhone is impossible to predict. For now, Nokia has the best chance to leverage its strong relationship with the world’s largest mobile carrier.
In other words, it’s now or never, and Nokia must seize the opportunity.
The Lumia 920T will be available by the end of the year. It will retail at RMB 4599 ($732) without a service contract. Meanwhile, the 16-GB iPhone model without a contract is reportedly priced at around RMB 5288 ($842).
China Telecom has been taking orders for iPhone 5 since Nov. 20. China Unicom, its main rival and China's second-largest carrier, has so far receive more than 100,000 online orders, according to the Web site Sina Tech.
How difficult is it for Apple to come out with a TD-SCDMA compatible phone model though? I shouldn't think it would be that difficult if they really wanted to. But this is a really good deal for Nokia.... while it lasts.
After a long time I am seeing a strategic decision that is going in favor of Nokia. But not sure for how long as 200 million customers in China switch their handset every year! By the way, how is Samsung doing in China?
Hi, Sanjib. The number "200 million customers" I threw in the story is partly driven by the massive shift currently occuring among China Mobile users swtiching from 2G to TD-SCDMA.
As for Samsung in China? They are doing really well.
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.