Monday, January 14, 2008, 04:10 pm PT (07:10 pm ET)
Apple, China Mobile talks for iPhone break downChina Mobile will not carry Apple's iPhone after the two companies failed to reach a deal to bring the device to the populous Asian country.
The breakdown has been given only the briefest of confirmations by the Chinese provider, which counts more than 350 million subscribers — more than the entire US population.
"Our parent has terminated talks with Apple over the iPhone," a China Mobile spokeswoman says.
The news appears to substantiate claims late last year that Apple has been struggling to land deals for the iPhone in China. At the time, Apple was reportedly at an impasse over its insistence that any carrier share its monthly subscription revenues — an income split that has allegedly encountered opposition in multiple countries but may be particularly insurmountable in China, according to reports.
"The two have very strong egos and, as in any relationship, that often doesn't work," says research firm BDA China's chairman, Duncan Clark.
Concerns may also exist over Apple's tendency towards deals that require a locked SIM (subscriber information) card, which would prevent Chinese iPhone users from jumping between networks either in the country or while traveling.
Apple is not limited to considering China Mobile and may instead entertain a deal with its next-largest option, China Unicom. The firm said last year that it was not committed to the iPhone but was receptive to the possibility of supporting the iPhone.
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