Weak iPhone 5c Demand May Be Slowing China Mobile iPhone Deal

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Apr 12, 2001
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With China Mobile, the world's largest carrier, having launched its new 4G LTE network without announcing an iPhone deal, questions have arisen about why an agreement has not yet been reached after many years of negotiations and evidence indicating that the necessary hardware is available and approved for sale.

According to a new report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the deal may have been slowed by the unexpectedly weak demand for the iPhone 5c relative to the iPhone 5s among China Mobile customers. According to Kuo's survey numbers, interest in the iPhone 5c from China Mobile customers has fallen precipitously from earlier expectations while iPhone 5s interest has remained high, and that unexpected mix of customer preference may be leading China Mobile and Apple to a renegotiation of an agreement that was nearly settled.
While previously we estimated that Apple originally planned the TD-LTE version would account for 30% of total iPhone 5C shipments, our latest survey indicates that demand for the TD-LTE iPhone 5C has declined dramatically due to 5S being far more popular than 5C among China Mobile subscribers. As such, we estimate iPhone 5C shipments of the TD-LTE version for China Mobile at 1.0-1.5mn units in 4Q13 and under 1.0mn units in 1Q14, well below Apple's original production plan.

We believe this would necessitate a re-negotiation of the Apple-China Mobile deal and therefore defer its finalization.
Kuo also remains conservative in his predictions of the impact of a China Mobile deal on Apple's iPhone shipment numbers for the first quarter of 2014, believing that the launch of the new TD-LTE model for China Mobile will be offset by falling sales in other markets around the world as momentum slows in the months following the iPhone 5s and 5c launches in those countries.

Article Link: Weak iPhone 5c Demand May Be Slowing China Mobile iPhone Deal
 

iomar

macrumors 6502
Dec 28, 2001
254
0
Los Angeles, CA
I think right from the beginning Apple could have done better than iPhone 5c. They really have to rethink iPhone 5c the design of iPhone 5c. Other colors are good and I got one for my son who loves his green color iPhone but still it seems it can be better and more attractive.
 
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Tankmaze

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2012
1,623
243
According to Kuo's survey numbers, interest in the iPhone 5c from China Mobile customers has fallen precipitously from earlier expectations while iPhone 5s interest has remained high, and that unexpected mix of customer preference may be leading China Mobile and Apple to a renegotiation of an agreement that was nearly settled.
ouch, this could be the end for "C" version imo.
but why would China Mobile want to renegotiate, just launch the 5S forget about 5C :confused:
 
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512ke

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2003
571
179
The 5C is selling well in the US and in every other market in the world.

This is not why the CM deal hasn't been announced yet.

And declining 5s sales next quarter? Look at the usual sales curve of Apple phones in the quarters following release.

The 5S will follow the pattern. Except it will sell way more than the 5.

So says 512ke lol.
 
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bmunge

macrumors 6502
Mar 7, 2012
273
313
Apple needs to eat a price drop on the 5c at this point. Their focus with the c model should not be immediate profitability but getting people onto the platform. Once they sell those users on the Apple brand with the iPhone experience, they will be able to better market their premium products to them. Also they increase their user base for the App Store and all the other Apple services. Just IMHO...
 
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WhoDaKat

macrumors 6502
May 20, 2006
339
464
Maybe I'm an idiot, but 5C or 5S, whats it matter to CM? Either way they get a customer, right?
 
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pgiguere1

macrumors 68020
May 28, 2009
2,157
1,082
Montreal, Canada
the deal may have been slowed by the unexpectedly weak demand for the iPhone 5c relative to the iPhone 5s
Why does the 5s/5c ratio matter again?
Don't these guys want customers no matter the specific iPhone model?
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
21,045
24,751
So Ming-Chi Kuo is speculating based on some survey he did. How is that newsworthy? I swear this guy takes a leak and the rumor sites run it on their front page as news. :rolleyes:
 
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Millah

macrumors 6502a
Aug 6, 2008
830
390
Oh boy, what a tough predicament to have when demand for your top of the line premium priced model far exceeds demand for the midrange model ;)

Only for Apple could this be spun into negative speculation. Other phone makers have to practically give their phones away, and yet with Apple people want the premium top of the line, and in vast numbers.

I think just about anyone would kill to get in that "predicament"

I think that also underscores just what the Apple brand means. It means premium. This is why Apple doesn't offer dirt cheap phones. Not only just because it damages the allure and prestige of the Apple brand, but also because the customer base isn't demanding anything less than the premium. Lowering price doesn't necessarily change that, it could have a very negative effect on the brand. Lamborghini no longer has a mystique and prestige as soon as they start selling $30k sedan.
 
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Red Oak

macrumors regular
Jun 14, 2011
217
938
This analyst was completely wrong 6 weeks ago predicting the iPad mini would be delayed and that Apple would not be capable of meeting demand

And look at the situation now

He's becoming frequently wrong in his predictions
 
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Nevaborn

macrumors 65816
Aug 30, 2013
1,078
312
This isnt news. This is some guy thinks something.

Like others have said, the iphone 5C is selling respectably elsewhere. Theres other factors here but some clueless so called analysts want a bit of press time so make sensationalist claims.
 
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Technarchy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2012
6,753
4,923
If I cared enough to make the effort of looking, there are probably dozens of posts on this forum from people saying the exact same thing.

Here's a prediction, Apple will release iphone 6 next year and it will sell out and be in high demand...I'll bump this in a year and I'm saying it way before Kuo. Call me Nostradamus.
 
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lolkthxbai

macrumors 65816
May 7, 2011
1,333
371
CM knows this deal is very important to Apple. IMO, CM is just putting pressure on Apple to revise it's terms and blaming it in "weak demand". Wasn't the iPhone 5c expected to do very well in the Asian market...?
 
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joemod

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2010
196
23
Athens, Greece
Why does the 5s/5c ratio matter again?
Don't these guys want customers no matter the specific iPhone model?
Because I think that carriers are required to order (and pay I guess) a specific number of phones. If the projected number of sales is lower than the cost of the purchase then there is no reason to order.
 
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Asuriyan

macrumors 6502a
Feb 4, 2013
622
23
Indiana
Because I think that carriers are required to order (and pay I guess) a specific number of phones. If the projected number of sales is lower than the cost of the purchase then there is no reason to order.
And here we have the first real explanation in this entire thread. (Appreciate it.)
 
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Pagemakers

macrumors 68020
Mar 28, 2008
2,448
737
Manchester UK
I or any of my mates are yet to see a single 5c in use outside of an Apple store I genuinely haven't seen a single one.

I regularly walk past a huge Apple store in the UK and almost always the 5c desk is empty of customers.

Maybe Apple are insisting that they take the entire range and they don't want the 5c?
 
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virginblue4

macrumors 68000
Apr 15, 2012
1,926
463
United Kingdom
I or any of my mates are yet to see a single 5c in use outside of an Apple store I genuinely haven't seen a single one.

I regularly walk past a huge Apple store in the UK and almost always the 5c desk is empty of customers.

Maybe Apple are insisting that they take the entire range and they don't want the 5c?
As someone who commutes daily by train, I have say many more 5c than 5s.
 
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nexusrule

macrumors 6502
Aug 11, 2012
489
457
Maybe I'm an idiot, but 5C or 5S, whats it matter to CM? Either way they get a customer, right?
If you have a deal to buy X items of model A at 100$ and XXX sales of model B at 50$ and the you discover people want XXX of model A and X of model B obviously your deal has to be ridiscussed. Apple surely doesn't want' to manufacture millions of iPhone C that knows will stay on the shelves and there is no doubt CM doesn't want to buy it, right? Especially if they can manufacture and sell millions of iPhone 5S that people will buy.
 
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TC03

macrumors 65816
Aug 17, 2008
1,272
356
I think right from the beginning Apple could have done better than iPhone 5c. They really have to rethink iPhone 5c the design of iPhone 5c. Other colors are good and I got one for my son who loves his green color iPhone but still it seems it can be better and more attractive.
It should be cheaper, that's it.

I suggest for Apple do this next year:
1. Make it as cheap as the 4S ($0 on contract or $399 unlocked).
2. Upgrade the A6 to A7 (to speed up the transition to 64-bit).

That would make a killer phone at a good price without cannibalizing the 5S or 6 (those will have Touch ID, better cameras, aluminium bodies and possibly bigger screens).

----------

As someone who commutes daily by train, I have say many more 5c than 5s.
I've yet to see the first 5C or 5S in public tbh.
 
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