Management team from China Telecom’s has confirmed that the company will offer the upcoming Apple’s iPhone 5 ( or ‘the new iphone’ ? ). Meanwhile, Chinese media has indicated that China Unicom has made preparations to dissolve its partnership with Apple in the future. A source from China Unicom said the company sells the iPhone as part of the service contract, an arrangement that does not allow them to make much of a profit on the device. As part of their agreements with Apple, China Unicom and China Telecom subsidize the cost of the iPhone for consumers in order to gain a greater share of the 3G market. Every single iPhone sold in China with contract, Apple will receives roughly 58 percent of the profits, while Chinese telecom operators only get 1.8 percent …
China Unicom’s iPhone exclusivity has came to an end early this year, after its rival, China Telecom, received regulator approval for a new iPhone handset, allowing the company to offer an Apple smartphone on its CDMA2000 networks. But, the Chinese telecom industry appears to be trending toward selling cheaper smartphones and actively promoting sales, as opposed to pushing higher-priced phones from Apple. China Unicom has launched smartphones priced at 1,000 yuan (US$158) to attract more 3G subscribers. 3G subscribers are typically heavy data users and help China Unicom in increasing its average revenue per user. By selling cheaper smartphones, China Unicom do not have to worry about paying higher subsidies associated with the higher price of iPhones.
Meanwhile China Mobile, which is the largest operator in the world, is left in the cold, although it claims that Apple has promised to partner with it once it has finished testing its 4G network. The company has a 70 percent share of mobile customers in China. Apple and China Mobile have been talking, but there are still some technical hurdles. Considering how important China is to Apple, it seems like Cupertino would find a way to iron those out eventually. The new iPhone 5 is likely to have LTE capabilities, which can support both the under-trial 4G network as well as the so far proprietary 3G network that China Mobile runs. In the meantime, China Mobile remains the largest network with more than 650 million active members, ahead of China Unicom (195 million) and China Telecom (62 million).
SOURCE: Sohu IT (Chinese translated)
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