Hot Rumor Corner
Stories that appear in the Hot Rumor Corner have not been verified and should be considered with a healthy measure of skepticism.
Rumor Alert – January 18, 2008: … Boy Genius says the iPhone goning corporate on January 21st
See also the companion theStreet.com video: iPhone compatible with business applications
iPhone for Business
We now have several major players in the CRM/business space committed to developing for iPhone …. first Salesforce.com and more recentl SAP. What’s the next step for business? While it pains me to say this, I’d like to see Apple license Microsoft Exchange ActiveSynch for iPhone. While there are workarounds to get push mail delivered to iPhone, there are just too many IT empires that will not soon change. Many will not (unless the CEO owns an iPhone) enable the IMAP feature on the Corp Exchange Server thereby allowing for workaround push e-mail to iPhone. In my opinion, licensing ActiveSynch for iPhone would open the door for many millions of corporate iPhone sales.
From “Fake Steve” blog on licensing MS ActiveSynch (June 2007) …
Fair enough, so we’re doing a deal with Microsoft
We were going to keep it quiet for a while more but since the MicroTards decided to leak it to Mary Jo Creepy, their official mouthpiece, I guess we might as well come clean. Okay. We need to license Microsoft’s Exchange ActiveSync protocol so we can make the iPhone work with Exchange servers. I personally think Exchange blows, but it’s a big standard in corporations and Phil Schiller is peeing his pants with fear saying we can’t afford to get pegged as non-corporate-friendly on the iPhone. So whatever. We license some software from Microsoft. God I just gagged when I wrote that. No doubt we’ll not only have to license the software from them but then we’ll have to fix it for them so it will work with the Jesus machine. And we’ll get blamed every time something goes wrong even though it’s Microsoft’s fault. Whatever. It’s the price we pay.
Rumor Alert – January 14, 2008: China Mobile Ends Talks With Apple to Sell IPhone
This report comes from a Bloomberg reporter (John Liu) stationed in Shanghai. He quotes Rainie Lei a spokeswoman for China Mobile. It should be noted that this is not the first time that “talks have ended” statements have come from a China Mobile spokesperson only to hear later that “talks continue.” Moreover, and most importantly, Sina.com has said the companies (Apple and China Mobile) will meet for another round of talks.
In my opinion, this January 14 report is more than rumor, yet this does not necessarily mean that negotiations have definitively come to an end. Ask yourself this basic question … Why has China Mobile seen fit to leak this to the press once again? Apple is not making any public proclamations that a “deal is in the works” with China Mobile. The probable answer is that Apple has now agreed (with China Mobile’s understanding) to move away from exclusive talks with China’s largest mobile provider, and engage in discussions with other potential distribution partners (China Unicom, et. al). Yet China Mobile does not want to completely walk away from an iPhone deal. China Mobile knows that a “talks ended” statement to the press will put pressure on Apple to rejoin discussions albeit on terms more favorable to China Mobile. For a more detailed analysis of negotiations (including who said what and when), see – China Business – The 2008 iPhone Games
Here (below) is the January 14th Bloomberg Article –
By John Liu
Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) — China Mobile Ltd., the world’s biggest wireless-phone company by users, said it ended talks to sell Apple Inc.’s iPhone handset in China, declining to say why the discussions were discontinued. ”We have stopped talking to Apple,” Rainie Lei, a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for China Mobile, said today by telephone. Jill Tan, a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for Apple, declined to comment.
The negotiations ended because Apple wanted a larger share of revenue from game, music and video downloads than China Mobile would offer, the Sina.com Web site reported today. Apple shares rose the most in more than a year in November after China Mobile Chairman Wang Jianzhou said the Beijing-based carrier was in talks to sell the IPhone.
“It’s bad news for Apple,” said Johnny Yeah, an analyst at Quam Ltd. in Hong Kong, who rates China Mobile’s shares ‘buy.’ “China Mobile would have helped immediately sell lots of iPhones because they have such a large user base; Apple entering China without China Mobile won’t be as substantial.” China Mobile, which already has an agreement to sell Research in Motion Ltd.’s Blackberry handsets in China, added 6.5 million subscribers in November for a total of 362.8 million. China is the world’s biggest mobile-phone markety by users, with more subscribers than the populations of the U.S., Japan, and the U.K. combined. The country was home to 539.4 million wireless customers as of the end of November, according to government data.
Service Fees (i.e. Revenue Sharing)
The mobile carrier stopped talks because Apple wanted 20 percent to 30 percent of fees from providing data services to iPhone users, Sina.com said, citing Gao Nianshu, director of China Mobile’s data services. China Mobile charges users for downloading games, music and Web sites over its wireless network. Talks between China Mobile and Cupertino, California-based Apple stopped because the carrier considered the U.S. company’s terms unfavorable, the YCWB.com, a U.S. Web site, reported on Nov. 30. The companies will meet for another round of talks, today’s Sina.com report said, without providing details. China Mobile’s Lei said she was unaware of plans for further talks. Sophia Tso, a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for China Mobile’s smaller rival, China Unicom Ltd., declined to comment on whether the company had talked to Apple about selling the iPhone. China Mobile’s shares fell 1.1 percent to HK$132.40 as of the 12:30 p.m. midday break in Hong Kong. Apple’s stock fell 3 percent to $5.33 in New York on Jan. 11.
To contact the reporter on this story: John Liu in Shanghai at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Updated: January 14, 2008 01:31 EST
Rumor Alert – January 13, 2008:
China Mobile preliminary agreement rumor…
Xin Hua, a large government run news agency, is carrying the following article re a preliminary China Mobile and Apple agreement. The English translation loses quite a bit. If someone can offer a more lucid translation please contact me directly and I will re-post.
NOTE: The first paragraph of this article refers to an iPhone deal with China Mobile. However, it appears that this is primarily a mobile music platform agreement rather than an iPhone deal.
Here’s the (poor) Google translation (NOTE: Bold is my add)
“Recent media reports, with the shift iPhone has reached a preliminary agreement
iPhone to China soon, in the meantime, Wang Jianzhou, chairman of China Mobile, said in a media interview, the current shift is in negotiations with Apple, plans to introduce the iPhone market. For China Mobile, the iPhone music downloads, and other functions, may help it attract more high-end users.
iPhone from the United States and the European Union in the selection criteria of view, AT & T or O2, T-Mobile, Orange, are world class mobile operators, therefore, iPhone will undoubtedly choose to China Mobile, China Unicom also have not ruled out the iPhone opportunities for cooperation.
For a very long time, China’s digital music is in a chaotic state, on the one hand music copyright issues are not radical improvement, and the SP to record companies continued economic disputes, it is in such a state of disorder, the shift from the establishment of a central lead music platform, perhaps we can really unified and standardized domestic wireless music market. However, the establishment of the Central Conservatory of Music in the mobile platform deep purpose is to, through their own channels, establish a huge digital music library, and then become the biggest digital music distributors, record companies replace the original channels.
In the Central Conservatory of Music platform, a user downloads as a standard, mobile and record company profits into 5:5. At the same time, the company will also record music copyright resold more than 40 SP, CRBT to promote local companies to promote the settlement after, 15% owned mobile, 85% owned by SP, SP settlement with the record companies and 85% again a profit-sharing scheme.
Platform for the establishment of the Central Conservatory of Music, will be gradually replaced by SP Chamber of Commerce, reduced profits, record companies will be directly and mobile co-operation, which is mixed record company, controlled by the movement on the one hand, on the other hand funds can be recovered reduce the risk.
When the iPhone the gateway to China, the country’s digital music CP whether a new business opportunities, db network is the largest music to CP, it is learnt that the majority of songs are from the network Web site, which has been gathered over 10 million music lovers, of this there are also many outstanding original singers and original songs decibels mobile networks and record companies, as well as the common values of the SP to a music treasures.
In MIT, Google, MYSPACE office this year was Robert IDG showering invited to China’s development, and the current decibel Network (FenBei.com) vice president, Robert recently in an interview with reporters, said: “iPhone into China will succeed, this will China digital music providers bring immense business opportunities, without excluding the iPhone decibels directly with the possibility of cooperation, we are actively contact with them, and to standardize the development of China’s digital music to contribute their recent strength.”
Rumor Alert – January 9, 2008
NOTE: The story (rumor) below of a “Q-2 2008 iPhone launch in China” has not been verified … Two sources (CNET, Marbridge Consulting) picked up the story from South Metropolitan News; yet I would regard this rumor as highly suspect. There has been no corroboration from credible sources and the apparent purveyor of the story (Lin Ronghui) has virtually no “Internet available” biography.
Via Marbridge Consulting – iPhone Scheduled for Q2 2008 China Release
South Metropolitan News, 1/09/08
According to Lin Ronghui, VP of official Apple reseller iTell, the iPhone will be on sale in China by the second quarter this year, in partnership with mobile operators, and priced at about RMB 4,000 – similar to the price on the US market.
January 9, 2008 8:48 AM PST
Via CNET – Apple Reseller: iPhone coming to China in 2008
The iPhone is already in China: I saw one for sale today, and a friend really should call me more often from one. But Marbridge Daily is onto a story in the Southern Metropolitan News reporting that the iPhone will be on sale in China by the second quarter of 2008. I’m not able to find the original article right now, but Marbridge’s blurb says the source is Lin Ronghui, vice president of iTell. Lin apparently said the iPhone will be selling for about RMB 4,000, considerably less than the unlocked street prices I’ve seen, and will be sold in cooperation with local mobile companies.
Much has been made of the possibility that the iPhone will make it to China’s market. Even though it’s already here, users of illicitly unlocked phones risk bricking their phones if they download software updates from Apple. Perhaps we should expect an official announcement sometime soon?