Apple’s flagship for 2013 is the iPhone 5s, although the company did release an iPhone 5c which was a slightly less powerful and cheaper model, although not by much. The handset featured a plastic body instead of the aluminum unibody used on the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s, allowing Apple to sell the handset for less. Unfortunately it would seem as though the iPhone 5c is not selling as well as Apple had intended, and according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, this is the reason that the deal with China Mobile has yet to be finalized.
According to Kuo, the weaker than expected sales of the iPhone 5c could trigger a re-negotiation between Apple and China Mobile, although he claims that the deal could be nearing an end. The original plan was that the iPhone 5c would account for 30% of the sales of iPhones on China Mobile’s network, but Kuo has since revised his numbers and now only estimates that Apple will only ship 1-1.5 million iPhone 5c units in the current quarter.
While China Mobile has confirmed that they are in talks with Apple, they have not confirmed a release date for the iPhone on their network, although recently a bunch of rumors seemed to have suggested that the deal between both companies had concluded and that we might expect iPhones anytime soon. With estimates of an additional 12 million iPhones sold for 2014, it is understandable that Apple would want to close a deal with China Mobile who numbers over 750 million subscribers, making them one of the largest carriers in the world.