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China Mobile set to release iPhone contract prices

Updated: 2013-12-23 14:42

China Mobile Ltd, the nation's biggest telecom carrier, said it plans to soon release contract prices for Apple's iPhone handsets, after the company officially confirmed an alliance with Apple on Monday.

Zhang Xuan, general manager at China Mobile's department of corporate affairs, said the company reached the agreement with Apple after years of negotiation to overcome obstacles regarding technology and business.

"Now all those obstacles have been eliminated," Zhang said in an email to China Daily on Monday.

Though China Mobile's Beijing branch has started online reservations for iPhone handsets, the company did not reveal specific charges for iPhone contract services. Zhang said China Mobile's marketing department will soon unveil the portfolio prices.

Analysts doubted that China Mobile's financial performance will be dimmed next year because of potential 4G network construction and generous subsidies for flagship smartphones, such as iPhone devices.

Zhang said the company will carry on a prudent and rational mobile phone subsidy policy in 2014 and declined to disclose details on specific subsidies for iPhones.

Frank Gillett, analyst with research firm Forrester, said the iPhone will do very well among influential and high-end customers and even a broader audience (in China), but the iPhone won't gain a dominant share in the country.

James Yan, telecom analyst with IDC China, said Apple is likely to realize a growth rate of more than 50 percent year-on-year in terms of shipment in 2014.

"The deal is beneficial to both sides, as China Mobile will also attract more high-end users and win back customers from rivals," Yan said.