Apple 2.0

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Speculation on a deal drives Apple up 2%, China Mobile 1%

September 5, 2013: 8:30 AM ET

The markets react to rumors that Apple is about to add the biggest carrier to its network.

chart_ws_stock_appleinc_20139572457_240xaScreen Shot 2013-09-05 at 7.59.49 AMFORTUNE -- The sharp vertical line in the chart at right is the market's reaction to the news late Tuesday that Apple (AAPL) has scheduled a media event in Beijing to be held a few hours after the Sept. 10 special event at Apple headquarters.

That was enough to persuade some traders -- or at least some trading computers -- that Apple has finally struck a deal with China Mobile (CHL). The world's largest cell phone carrier (740 million mobile customers) had been holding out for better terms and an iPhone compatible with its idiosyncratic network protocols.

Rumor had it that Tim Cook may have closed the deal during a visit to China in late July, helping push China Mobile shares up 1% in Hong Kong trading Thursday.

Apple, we later learned, will also be holding satellite media events in Berlin and Tokyo next week. That doesn't seem to have taken any steam out of the China Mobile rumors. If anything, it heightened speculation that there may be more carrier deals afoot, perhaps with Japan's NTT DoCoMo (DCM).

Apple shares were up as much as $3 (0.6%) in pre-market trading Thursday.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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