Although the long-rumored distribution deal between Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) has yet to be officially announced, the Chinese carrier appears to be moving ahead with its iPhone launch promotions. As first reported by Chuck Jones at Forbes, a Canada-based Apple watcher who uses the Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) handle @MichDuss has found at least ten separate China Mobile landing pages that feature Apple’s iPhones.
As seen in the image above, @MichDuss has also created a website that provides links to each page. Many of the pages appear to be directed at specific Chinese cities, provinces, and regions, including Beijing, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Guizhou, Sichuan, Xi’an, and Inner Mongolia.
As previously reported by Apple Insider, China Mobile’s Beijing webpage was launched over a week ago and has been taking online preorders for the iPhone 5S since December 12. The Beijing Apple page also features a counter that has already surpassed 75,000. According to the Wall Street Journal’s translation of the page, the counter represents the number of people that have reserved an iPhone 5S.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that China Mobile would announce a distribution deal with Apple when it unveiled its new 4G services at a global partner conference in Guangzhou on December 18. However, China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua told Reuters on Wednesday that the company had no announcement to make that pertained to a deal with Apple. Apple shares dropped 0.76 percent to $550.77 by the end of trading on Wednesday when a deal failed to materialize.
As noted on its official website, China Mobile is the world’s largest carrier by subscriber base with over 763 million subscribers. China Mobile is the last major telecommunications company to not have a deal with Apple in China. Apple already has distribution deals with China Mobile’s rival carriers, China Unicom (NYSE:CHU) and China Telecom (NYSE:CHA). However, a deal with China Mobile is widely expected to further boost Apple’s market share in China and the California-based company’s overall revenues in 2014.
According to a note to investors obtained by Apple Insider, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently predicted that a distribution deal with China Mobile could add 15 to 20 million iPhone unit sales in 2014. Similarly, market research firm Trefis estimated that China Mobile could add as many as 20 million iPhone sales in 2014, according to the Wall Street Journal. Although neither company has commented on the delayed distribution deal, some industry watchers have speculated that the holdup may be related to Apple’s stringent business terms or a last-minute renegotiation due to lower-than-expected iPhone 5C sales.
Here’s how Apple traded on Friday.
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