Via Reuters 9/2/2008 … quoting China Mobile CEO Wang Jianzhou: “Both (Apple Chief Executive) Mr Steve Jobs and myself hope the Apple iPhone can enter China as soon as possible. We are discussing this issue, but we haven’t got an agreement.”
Has he made any Crazy Ivans?
To what side?
The next one’s to Starboard.
Just like in The Hunt for Red October, there’s a subterfuge here. The Chinese need our help to get acceptance of their new TD-SCDMA 3G standard and iPhone will do just that. But China also needs to quickly build a TD user-base. Telling the world (now) that Apple and China Mobile have “reached a deal” will only open the floodgates of speculation and ultimately end in a confession that the new “official” iPhone in China will support TD-SCDMA. But this new TD iPhone 3G most likely won’t be ready for distribution until the first quarter of 2009. The problem being that China needs to sell TD-SCDMA handsets today, tomorrow and next week. There are already 30 licensed TD handsets and most are made in China by Chinese manufacturers. The latest to join the party is ZTE, a China powerhouse. Nokia will also have a TD-SCDMA handset … yet Nokia’s distribution timeframe will be similar to Apple’s … early 2009. But China does not want Apple or Nokia promoting the fact that they will have TD-SCDMA offerings until almost the very moment they are ready for sale. China must sell TD-SCDMA handsets now. So for now we will carry on with the charade … “we haven’t got an agreement.” And then, suddenly, a deal will be done and out pops a new TD iPhone 3G with almost no gestation period at all.
See also > Timing of iPhone deal and launch in China