|Screenshot China Mobile Subsidiary Website|
China Mobile and Apple Inc. have been rumored to be planning an iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c launch for the middle of this month. However, new developments in the story seemed to indicate that China Mobile had opted to launch the phone earlier. In fact, a website for one of the wireless conglomerate’s subsidiary companies in Suzhou was launched late yesterday, with the option to pre-order the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.
Report Based On Site
The story was published by Fortune’s online tech portal, then later updated to reveal that China Mobile denied any deal with Apple being fully developed. A spokesperson for the Chinese wireless carrier told CNN’s Beijing office today that there is no deal with Apple yet. However, the fact that a deal had been on the minds of the two companies is an undeniable fact. Apple has been trying to sort out an agreement for more than six years with China Mobile.
Apple's Biggest Holdout
China Mobile has more than 740 million subscribers on its network, which makes it a valuable prize for Apple to acquire a contract with the company. However, so far, China Mobile has been Apple’s biggest holdout.
If China Mobile were indeed testing a soft launch of the iPhone 5 in its market, then Suzhou would have been a suitable place to do so. This city is one of the richest in all of China, and it has a large population. This population would not only be aware of the iPhone, but would also be able to afford the purchase price.
Site Taken Down
The website which allowed for the pre-ordering of the iPhone has been replaced with a page that has Chinese characters on it. According to Google Translate, the page reads: "Reservation page information update, will be reopened later appointment. Please try again later, thank you for your support of Suzhou Mobile!" This change was made after China Mobile made its statement to CNN that there was no deal with Apple Inc. Either the site was a hoax, or China Mobile has pulled it down and denied any involvement with it.