AAPL stock down as market ponders the mystery of the missing China Mobile deal


AAPL stock took a 1.8 percent hit in pre-market trading as China Mobile not only failed to announce its iPhone launch today as had been expected, but its chairman Xi Guohua specifically told reporters that the world’s largest carrier had no announcement to make.

While neither Apple nor China Mobile ever officially confirmed today as the launch date, the Chinese government confirmed the date as the one on which 4G service would begin, China Mobile had said it would launch “a new brand” today and the WSJ seemed confident last month that today was the day.

The deal has been a very long time in the coming, but all the pieces of the puzzle looked to have fallen into place … 

The Chinese regulator signed-off the final licence in early September, Apple announced that the handsets would go on sale in China as of the opening weekend, we’ve had leaked China Mobile posters, a pre-order website, in-store displays (photo, above) – and 4G service in China did indeed begin today as promised. That the iPhone launch hasn’t happened is very odd.

While there are already millions of iPhones in use in China (one source claiming as many as 42M unofficially using China Mobile’s network already), and the iPhone has already officially launched on smaller Chinese carriers, the China Mobile deal is expected to generate tens of millions of extra sales for Apple. Estimates have ranged from 38M for China and Japan combined to 70M for China Mobile alone.

Via Fortune

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  1. drtyrell969 - 9 years ago

    It’ll come. There are many Androids, but only one iPhone.

  2. s92543 - 9 years ago

    I wouldn’t say that a 2.2% drop in share value is necessarily anything more than normal fluctuation in market value for any company. Many stocks are down today, Google dropped slightly. eBay dropped slightly.

    Apple stock has a tendency to be affected by rumor mongers, scratch that I meant Analysts, who make wild claims and then when these claims don’t pan out to be 100% accurate Apple is hit with a drop in share value.

    I would be more concerned if the price of stock fell because of a crisis caused by a major design flaw that required the replacement of every iPhone 5S or iPad Air. Then that is worthy of a story and a drop in share price but Apple not completing a deal to have the iPhone available for China Mobile on the day they launch LTE? No, that won’t change their fortunes.

    Apple will still have the same launch Panache if they were to not start selling them on China Mobile until next week or a month down the ways. If the Chinese customers really want an iPhone they will wait until it becomes available just like they do in other countries where the customers stop buying in anticipation of the launch of the latest and greatest iPhone model!

    • s92543 - 9 years ago

      got to add that at the same time Microsoft stock has also dropped 1.51%, they aren’t launching the iPhone on China Mobile either. Maybe they didn’t get a deal with China Mobile or maybe it is just a normal fluctuation in the stock prices like Apples stock price has fallen in a normal fluctuation of their stock price.

    • Ben Lovejoy - 9 years ago

      It’s an unusually large drop in pre-trading, so a link is more likely than coincidence. Microsoft also announced that it won’t be appointing a new CEO this side of the new year.

  3. kpom1 - 9 years ago

    There’s definitely a connection, as that was about the amount that the stock rose after the initial WSJ report. My guess is that a deal is still close but one of the two sides (likely China Mobile) is looking for some last-minute concessions. Apple didn’t cave to Verizon or NTT DoCoMo so I doubt that they’ll cave to China Mobile, though the latter might think they are in a stronger position since they haven’t been losing significant numbers of subscribers to the other two carriers in China.

  4. Oflife (@oflife) - 9 years ago

    I hate to say it, but last years Chinese Android phones (try one before you reply) blow the iPhone 5s out of the water from everything from usability (lack of bottom of screen back button on iOS is huge problem when navigating apps) to screen size to multi-tasking to (most importantly), customizable ‘desktop’ – something that makes Android invaluable. See the latest Chinese phones on GSM Arena, two have 2K displays and very versatile cameras, never mind standard charging ports etc – and no reliance on a garden wall ecosystem.


Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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