Apple Signs Long-Awaited Deal with China Mobile

Apple Signs Long-Awaited Deal with China Mobile
Brent Lewin/Bloomberg via Getty Images
By Ansuya Harjani

Apple and China Mobile have signed a deal to distribute Apple's (AAPL) iPhone on the Chinese carrier's vast network, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

China Mobile confirmed that it has been in talks with the Cupertino-based company, but declined to provide any further information on the deal or the timing of its official announcement.

"China Mobile and Apple have been in talks on cooperation, but there is no information we can disclose at the moment," Rainie Lei, a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for China Mobile told CNBC.

On Wednesday, China said it will award China Mobile, China Unicom Hong Kong and China Telecom licenses to provide the superfast 4G network to customers.

The Wall Street Journal report (subscription required) cited an anonymous source familiar with the Apple and China Mobile deal.

"There are more users just on China Mobile alone than there are Internet users in many other countries," %VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%Keith Fitz-Gerald, chief investment strategist at Money Map Press, told CNBC, highlighting the scale of the potential deal.

"I think this deal could potentially add $1.50, maybe even $2 per share in terms of earnings if the deal goes forward as we understand it," he added.

China Mobile, the world's biggest mobile carrier by subscribers with over 700 million customers, is expected to begin selling Apple smartphones later this month.

The Chinese telco is one of the world's last major carriers that does not offer the iPhone, and its distribution of the device is seen is critical for growing Apple's foothold in the mainland.

Apple has been struggling to gain market share in China owing to fierce competition from rival Samsung and local manufacturers.

Shares of China Mobile edged up 0.7 percent to 84.75 Hong Kong dollars in Asia trading. They outperformed the broader Hong Kong market, which was down about 0.5 percent.

-CNBC's Ryan Ruggiero contributed to this report.

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Save Money With These 7 Smartphone Apps
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Apple Signs Long-Awaited Deal with China Mobile
Stop texting and start saving! Yes, your smartphone can save you money – from coupons to comparing prices to making a shopping list, these seven smartphone apps are the key to making sure you don’t go over your budget. And they’re all free!

This app, available on the iPhone and Android, allows users to scan the bar code of any item in the store and the app will find the retailer or online site that sells that item for the lowest price. This way, if you’re in a store, you can show proof to the manager that another store sells the same item for less, and ask the manager to match that lower price.
Available on the iPhone, users can find coupons from tens of thousands of retailers, like Macy’s, Kohl’s, Gap, JC Penney, and Bloomingdales. When shopping online from your phone, you can drag the promotional code from the app and drop it right into the retailer’s website when you’re checking out. You can also redeem the coupons from the app in the store – no need to print anything out!

It happens to consumers: You purchase an item and the next day it goes on sale! After you make a purchase, simply take a picture of the receipt using your smartphone, the app will store it and let you know if that items goes on sale – this way you can easily head back to the store and be credited for the difference between the sale price and the amount you paid. Some stores have a window of 15-30 days to get a price adjustment. The app is available on the iPhone and Android.


Food from your local farmer’s market is generally cheaper (and healthier) than the supermarket. Using GPS, this app finds the nearest farmer’s market – it’ll even tell you what foods and produce are in season. It’s available on the iPhone and Android phones.
Gas prices are always expensive. Type in your zip code and the GasBuddy app will find the cheapest gas station in your area. Various users post the prices at each gas station throughout the country – this way, we can all save! Available on the iPhone and Android. 
Do you tend to overspend when buying gifts for friends on special occasions? This app allows user to enter in a budget for the gift – it will then suggest gifts that fit within your budget. You can even enter in your friend’s age, gender and hobbies to make sure you find the perfect gift. The app browses some 150,000 products. Available on the iPhone and Android phones.
Studies show making a shopping list (and sticking to it!) will ensure you spend less at the grocery store. This app lets users create a shopping list. To add items to the shopping list, you can scan the bar code of the item, talk to the app (using its voice activation feature) or enter it manually. Once you’ve purchased the item, you can cross it off your list, conveniently on the app! 
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