According to a new report from Wall Street Journal, the long rumored Apple-China Mobile partnership might finally come to fruition this year. This deal will give Apple access to the 700 million subscribers on China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile carrier.
“Apple has asked Foxconn, its contract manufacturing partner, to add China Mobile to the list of carriers slated to receive a new low-cost iPhone, one of these people said. It isn’t clear if the two sides have signed an official agreement or when the phones would be delivered,” the report said.
This deal with China Mobile is expected to give Apple a much-needed boost to their smartphone market share in China as it fend off fierce competition from the likes of Samsung and local smartphone makers.
A recent report data from research firm Canalys highlights that Apple’s sales in Greater China fell 14% from a year earlier to $4.6 billion during its fiscal third quarter ended June 29. In the June quarter, Apple’s China market share fell to 5%, ranking it seventh behind market leader Samsung, which had 18%, and a cluster of domestic manufacturers such as Lenovo Group Ltd. and Huawei Technologies Co., the report said.
Apple has scheduled a special event in China on September 11. The Cupertino-based company is widely expected to unveil their latest iPhones in the country and perhaps announced a new deal with China Mobile.