China Mobile’s iPhone 5S subsidy rates leak as WSJ confirms Apple’s new carrier partner deal
The rumors that Apple – China Mobile deal for iPhone 5S and 5C has been in place for months, were true. The companies have only been waiting for China Mobile to receive 4G license from Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), to launch iPhone 5S with TD-LTE support as a flagship device for next generation services and brand.
Yesterday MIIT issued the TD-LTE licenses for all 3 Chinese mobile operators. Few hours later WSJ confirmed that Apple has now signed the contract with China Mobile and the new iPhones will launch around December 18th, when the carrier holds its annual partner conference.
Off contract price of iPhone S on China Mobile will not be much different form other carriers and will start around 5300 Yuan ($869). There will also be some serious subsidies available for customers who sign a two year contract. China Mobile Alliance, a government affiliated mobile industry association, just published China Mobile’s iPhone 5S subsidy rates on their official Weibo account:
As you can see, the subsidies are significant, though not much different from what you can get from China Telecom and Unicom. The cheapest China Mobile plan starts at 88 yuan ($15) and will get you iPhone 5S 16GB for 4400 yuan ($722) on a two year contract – 900 yuan ($148) discount. There is no free iPhone 5S option on CM, but if you take the 358 yuan ($59) a month plan for a couple of years, you can get Apple’s flagship device for 1300 yuan ($213).
China Mobile deal should seriously boost overall iPhone sales and market share. Analysts estimate that additional 15 to 20 million iPhones will be sold through the worlds biggest carrier in the next 12 months. Having in mind that China Mobile already has 42 million iPhone customers, those estimates seem pretty conservative to me.