Tim Cook calls China Mobile launch ‘a beginning’ as Chairman says ‘multi-million’ iPhones ordered

Ive at iPhone 5 event (Getty Images)

(Image via Getty Images)

Ahead of the launch of the iPhone on China Mobile on January 17th, Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with the Wall Street Journal and other publications for a brief interview. Cook hints that this iPhone deal is only the beginning of a longer-term partnership between Apple and China’s largest mobile carrier:

Speaking in a small media briefing to Chinese media and The Wall Street Journal, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said he is “incredibly optimistic” about the outcome of the cooperation with the Chinese carrier.

“We’ve gotten to know each other….today is a beginning, and I think there are lots more things our companies can do together in the future,” Mr. Cook said.

Cook is likely referring to future generations of the iPhone, and other products such as the iPad, appearing on China Mobile’s network in the future. Cook also shares that half a million of the App Store developers are from China:

Mr. Cook said Apple wants to reach as many Chinese consumers as possible by offering iPhones through China Mobile, and added that the country has more than half a million people writing apps for the U.S. company’s iOS operating system.

“Apple has always been about making the best products, not the most products, so that’s always our North Star and that’s not going to change ever,” said Mr. Cook.

“Multi-millions” of iPhones have already been pre-ordered through China Mobile, according to a statement from China Mobile’s Chairman in the same interview. Earlier today, the WSJ reported that over one million iPhone 5s units were shipped from Foxconn to China Mobile. 

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  1. Steffen Jobbs - 9 years ago

    Whoa! Back up. Beep… beep… beep. Wall Street analysts said that no more than a few thousand consumers in all of China can afford iPhones and only Android smartphones had a chance of selling in quantity. What’s wrong with this picture?


    • chrissuderman - 9 years ago

      Yes, while only a small percentage of China Mobile’s customers can afford the iPhone, that’s still 10’s of millions of people, if not a 100 million. China Mobile has over 700 million customers.

      There are well over a million people in China with over a million USD in assets. Not to mention a growing middle class (see below). China also accounted for 47% of spending on luxury goods in 2013. Either way you slice it, Apple will be able to sell a lot of iPhones.

      “Today, the mass middle class – with annual household incomes of between $9,000 and $16,000 – are dominant, accounting for 54 percent of all urban households; upper middle-class households, with incomes of $16,000 to $34,000, represent only 14 percent. By 2022, however, the upper middle class will become the new mainstream, accounting for 54 percent of all urban households and generating just under half of total Chinese private consumption.

      Upper middle-class consumers are more willing than their mass middle-class brethren to pay a premium for quality products, have a high level of trust in well-known brands and can afford to spend more of their income on discretionary products and services as opposed to basic necessities such as food, clothing and shelter.”


  2. themis333 - 9 years ago

    Reblogged this on Taste of Apple and commented:
    There’s great potential for Apple in China, without a doubt. Let’s see what the future brings…