- Apple Inc's iPhone is unlikely to hit Chinese shelves soon because of technical and fee issues, industry executives said on Wednesday, a day after shares in the U.S. company shot up on hopes of a deal with China Mobile.
Shares in Apple rose more than 10 percent on Tuesday—snapping a four-day losing streak—after China Mobile Ltd Chief Executive Wang Jiangzhou said his firm was in talks about a possible tie-up. China Mobile stock also jumped 9 percent on Wednesday.
Wang brushed off suggestions an agreement might come soon when he spoke to reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Macau on Tuesday. And a senior telecoms executive familiar with the situation told Reuters on Wednesday that Wang's comments had been blown out of proportion.
The iPhones—one of the hottest gadgets to hit U.S. and European stores this year—might be incompatible with the Chinese telecoms market because of their "locked" SIM cards—meaning the device would not be able to piggyback on another operator's network.
"You have to realize Chinese SIM cards are not locked up, as the iPhones' are," the executive said on condition of anonymity.
"Secondly, our business model does not entail sharing revenue with terminal producers—we don't share revenue. That's a Chinese rule," said the executive. "All it is right now, on the iPhone and Apple, is that the firm welcomes their approach."
China Unicom, the smaller of the country's two wireless carriers, said it had no immediate plans to bring the iPhone to China but said it could be open to the idea.