The deal is far from being confirmed at this point, perhaps renegotiations are getting in the way.
Over the past few months it has continuously been rumored that Apple has been in talks with China Mobile so as to launch its new iPhones on the world’s largest mobile carrier. While many reports from major media outfits claimed that the deal was confirmed, the carrier yesterday clarified that no deal has been reached and that both companies are currently talking it over. It is also possible that a renegotiation of the entire deal might be triggered owing to weak iPhone 5C sales, this according to famed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities.
The iPhone 5C was believed to be a low cost smartphone geared towards markets like China and India, but that wasn’t the case. In fact, the iPhone 5C is quite expensive particularly in markets where it was expected to make waves. Besides that, customers have largely preferred the iPhone 5S over it. Kuo believes that if the deal does go through, Apple might be able to sell only 1 to 1.5 million iPhone 5C units on China Mobile in the fourth quarter of 2013, and that’s one metric that might trigger renegotiations.
Kuo claims that demand for TD-LTE China Mobile compatible iPhone 5C has declined “dramatically” over the past few weeks and that potential customers are now more interested in the iPhone 5S. It is quite possible that these renegotiations are holding back the deal, which is depriving China Mobile’s over 750 million subscribers from finally being able to get a new iPhone officially from the carrier.