Apple has unveiled their next generation iPhone to the world with the usual fanfare. However, given the declined in the company’s stock price after the announced, investors were not impressed. This is probably due to the higher than expected price of the iPhone 5C, which will retail for US$550 without a contract. Many pundits have pegged this as the low-cost iPhone that will boost Apple’s market share in developing countries, but as it turns out, the iPhone 5C is more to boost Apple’s declining profit margins more than anything else. The phone will be much cheaper to manufacture than the current iPhone 5.
“The iPhone 5C has nothing to do with price,” John Gruber writes for Daring Fireball. “It probably does have something to do with manufacturing costs (which are lower for Apple), but not price. Apple’s years-long strategy hasn’t really changed. They offer three phones”
Additionally, investors will have one more reason for concern given that the widely rumored deal with the world largest network – China Mobile has not materialized. Despite overwhelming evidence to suggest such a partnership was on the cards.
One such evidence is the official technical specifications on Apple’s website for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, first uncovered by AppleInsider. The specifications state that both devices will work on TD-LTE networks, which the 4G spectrum used by China Mobile. This matter is further complicated by the fact that China Mobile is still in the process of rolling out this LTE network.
Writing for The Next Web, Kaylene Hong had this to say: “Apple has not been able to offer the iPhone on China Mobile primarily because it has been unable to support the operator’s unique TD-SCDMA 3G network — as the TD standard is one that is used by the operator for its 3G and 4G networks, and no others worldwide. However, in particular the rollout of Qualcomm’s TD chips that support TD-LTE — Apple now has the technology to be compatible with China Mobile’s network.”
The caveat with this according to Hong is that China has not launched its 4G network. This is almost certainly why Apple cannot launch its iPhones on China Mobile yet.
However, investors can take some solace in the fact that it’s now a matter of when this deal will happen and not if.
MacX, a Chinese media outlet, has posted a photo taken from China’s Ministry website officially announcing network licenses for iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C products to be sold in mainland China. Additionally, the audit report shows both iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S will have TD-LTE network support.