The highly anticipated China Mobile deal finally appears to be on the right path. On December 18, 2013, the world’s largest carrier will unveil its 4G network and (reportedly) launch the iPhone 5s and 5c on its 4G LTE network. But what does this mean for Apple? I’m sure you have guessed that analysts already have their answers.
Multiple analysts means multiple sale scenarios and numbers. They all agree, however, that the Apple–China Mobile agreement will boost iPhone sales (via Fortune). An AlphaWise survey conducted in major Chinese cities earlier this year seems to reinforce their belief.
This optimistic scenario comes from Morgan Stanley analysts Katy Huberty, who says the China Mobile deal means another 12 million iPhones sold in 2014. From Huberty’s perspective the 12 million number assumes an addressable market of 195 million, and includes customers who are willing to spend $825 on smartphones and who said (during the survey) that they are very likely to purchase a China Mobile iPhone.
Looking at Verizon’s first year, Bernstein’s Toni Sacconaghi believes Apple will sell 15 million iPhones: Apple will likely end up with 10 million postpaid and 5 million prepaid customers after the first year of availability through China Mobile.
Analyst Jane Zhang of Gartner spilled cold water on the much-rumoured deal: “They [Apple] need China Mobile more than China Mobile needs them”, Zhang said.