A million iPhones sold by China Mobile up until now, far from predicted amounts

A million iPhones sold by China Mobile up until now, far from predicted amounts
China Mobile today announced that it has sold roughly 1.3 million 4G-enabled smartphones since mid-January. The largest mobile carrier in the world said that most of these, roughly a million, were iPhones. However, Apple might be somewhat far from its goal of selling between 15 and 16 million iPhones in China this year. As you might remember, China Mobile sells iPhones as a result of the deal, signed with the Cupertino company back in December 2013.

With roughly 775 million subscribers, China Mobile is Apple's perfect partner for expansion on the local market. However, the 4G network coverage across China is limited to the major cities. This might be one of the main reasons for the not-so-great sales of the Apple-branded smartphones. According to some analysts, only 12% of the iOS devices in China are Apple iPhone 5s ones, whereas the more "affordable" iPhone 5c accounts for just 2% of all Apple-branded devices in the country.


China Mobile also announced that its overall earnings have dropped for the first time in a decade. One of the reasons for this decline is the increasing usage of free messaging services, such as WeChat, which are very popular among the Chinese population.


source: Wall Street Journal, Reuters via 9to5Mac (1), (2)

Related phones

iPhone 5c
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iPhone 5s
  • Display 4.0" 640 x 1136 pixels
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22 Comments

1. eN16HTMAR3

Posts: 253; Member since: Oct 08, 2013

Why would they want Apple iPhones at such a high price when you can get all those dirt cheap, super powerful Androids for next to nothing. If it's not the best, then whatever. Just throw it in a drawer and go get the next big thing there.

8. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

All those super dirty cheap androids that you say have from none up to mediocre support from their manufacturers. For example oppo is launching the new flagship with HEAVILY modified 4.3 android. Not to mention that s**tty support they have generally for updating their phones. Plus China is a big country with lots of rich people compared to how many rich there are in smaller countries.

9. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

I'd have to hear from people who actually live in China in regards to their phones getting support. I know MIUI gets updates more than any phone on the planet. Not so sure about China having a lot of rich people either like you make it out to be, you have a demographic link you can provide?

13. JerryTime

Posts: 468; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

14. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

Thanks, that's exactly what I thought.

18. JerryTime

Posts: 468; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

No problem.

2. Cicero

Posts: 1137; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

So the paysans from China's country are not buying iPhone 5s LTE because of the not LTE coverage? LOL

10. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Yea, everyone in remote villages wants an iPhone 5s but since there is no LTE they can't buy it.

3. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

It's still possible, there's a lot left to this year. I'd bet slow implementation is due to pricing more than 4G though.

4. mr.techdude

Posts: 571; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

What an utter ridiculous excuse, "......lack of 4g in major cities" oh please PA, Chinese aren't brainwashed, they buy those Chinese phones or just greater competition. That's it

5. cse.vicky unregistered

Android as many fans it has, still has some problems, I have Iphone 5s and nexus 5. I am not biased but my nexus does sure has some problems ( camera and battery not included, only talking about software) Applications open late (tried ART also), sometimes crash, they do lag (I have used 2 nexus 5 and 1 nexus 4 ). iOS is very smooth, indeed, never had a single failure yet (I have only one Iphone). Not bashing android, android has such a good third party support, which i find lacking in iOS.

7. ePoch270

Posts: 193; Member since: Sep 26, 2013

Huh, that's funny. I have a Note 3 and it rarely has problems. Never reboots or freezes. Super fast and smooth. Now my iPad 4 and my wifes iPhone 4s, those have problems. Apps crashing. Camera takes poor low light and fast action photos. System freeze forcing reboots. Cannot open more than 2 browser tabs in Safari without crash. Poor connectivity between wifi-cell transfer. System Update slowed overall use and no ability to revert to lower os. Not bashing Apple. I'm just holding it wrong I guess.

11. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

You definitely are holding it wrong. You have to hold it out in front of you towards the merchandise returns staff to fix that problem.

23. cse.vicky unregistered

I have only used iPhone 5s, experience with that has been good for me !

12. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Bs, there is zero lag on N5. Even stock on stock kernel. Not one single crash or f/c on any of the Nexi in my house, all are daily drivers. Of which there is four. So yeah, BS.

22. cse.vicky unregistered

N5 is an excellent device. I am not bashing it. Sorry if the post looked like so, I am saying sometimes, some apps lag. Hope you get the point.

15. Tones

Posts: 77; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

You need to return it then as my Nexus 5 is flawless, as is my girlfriends. Not sure why you would want an iPhone 5 in China when you could get something like a Xaomi phone for a fraction of the price.

21. cse.vicky unregistered

I did return mine.

16. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Nexus 5 slow??? Lol..good one...

20. cse.vicky unregistered

Nexus 5 as a system with Kitkat is not slow. I specifically said it is an excellent device. Some apps :)

17. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

I got a coolpad 9976a ...a man's phone..on the way

19. Harold1066

Posts: 19; Member since: Jun 01, 2012

There is strong desire among many consumers in China for an iPhone not for the phone's capabilities but rather for the product's effect as a status symbol. The phone is so expensive that most people could not afford it. There is a growing middle-class who are reasonably well off but even most of them would have to spend the equivalent of 2 to 4 months salary to afford such a device. The domestic brands with their significantly lower prices provide a far more affordable option for the massive consumer base that Apple hopes to tap into. Apple's approach of premium pricing for admittedly quality product will only lead to limited market penetration and they don't have anywhere near the same kind of leverage over Chinese carriers to get more subsidies. Too much pressure and Apple could find itself kicked out of the Chinese market altogether. The iPhone 5C was not a bad idea in concept but was a disaster in implementation. The "budget" device needs to be priced at or near the same levels of the phones it is intended to compete with. Apple's continued refusal to do so is foolish in the extreme as was their decision to kill off the iPhone 5 when that phone would have been a far better option to sell as a discounted device. But Apple's institutional refusal to relinquish their high margins has bit them on the ass this time.

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