A fair amount of China Mobile’s 660 million+ subscribers have no doubt lusted over the Apple iPhone over the last few years. But potentially later this year, those wants and desires for one of the most successful line of smartphones ever could come to an end. Speaking in Hong Kong yesterday, China Mobile’s Chairman Xi Guohua confirmed that it and Apple were currently going through talks to bring the iPhone to the world’s largest mobile carrier – 667 million+ China Mobile customers call said carrier “home”.
For Apple, tapping into China Mobile’s vast user base is a cash cow of epic proportions that could easily push their share price hundreds of dollars higher and result in tens of billions in additional sales/profit.
Currently, there are a small, diehard following of iPhone users already running on China Mobile but in EDGE-only mode. It is, in our eyes, a sub-par experience. But the reason for the delay is not your typical spat that sees two companies’ egos dueling back and forth. The lack of an iPhone on China Mobile is completely legitimate. You see, China Mobile uses an odd form of 3G/4G network technology, TD-SCDMA and TD-LTE. Thus far, most global handsets sold do not support the TD-SCDMA standard unless specifically made for the Chinese market. But a new Qualcomm chip could remedy this situation and allow the upcoming iPhone (rumored to be released later this year in October-ish) to run on China Mobile’s network.
For China Mobile users at least, the above news is a huge reason to get excited. For all of us, however, an even bigger reason to perk up comes from a new WSJ article this morning. Specifically, the news outfit states that the upcoming iPhone will feature “at least” a 4″ (diagonal) display, citing several suppliers ordering larger displays for alleged future Apple devices.
The issue of screensize comes up in talk between tech pundits continuously, with both camps (smaller/bigger screens) being pretty evenly divided. Regardless if Apple keeps the screensize the same or expands it a bit, someone will be upset and dissatisfied. But as the WSJ states in their article, the screensize on an iPhone isn’t a defining feature, really. Instead, it is but one small piece of the overall puzzle; the various hardware features and numerous software + vast media/content tie-ins create that highly sought after ecosystem that so many yearn to replicate but often fail to do.
It goes without saying, this fall’s new iPhone will once again set a new bar for Apple and for smartphones in general.