Investors and other interested parties may have an explanation for Apple’s M.I.A. deal with China Mobile — and that explanation could be lower-than-expected iPhone 5c sales.
That’s according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who suggests that this is the reason a deal between the two parties has yet to be finalized.
Reportedly the original intention was for the iPhone 5c to account for 30 percent of iPhone sales on China Mobile’s network (and Kuo himself speculated that the 5c and 5s were likely to sell in equal numbers), although he now notes that he has revised his figures, and estimates that Apple will ship only 1-1.5 million iPhone 5c units in the current quarter.
This means that Apple would sell “just” 15-20 million iPhone handsets to China Mobile customers in 2014: a drop from the consensus estimates of 17 million — or around 10 percent of China Mobile’s existing 178 million 3G customers.
While Kuo’s explanation would make sense of the delay, however, he notes (and watchers of the China Mobile deal can sing along by this point), “We believe a deal is nearing completion”.