After six years of hard, protracted negotiations, the timing may work well for both parties.
FORTUNE -- We may never know what clinched the iPhone distribution deal that Apple (AAPL) and China Mobile (CHL) announced Sunday at 2 p.m. Cupertino time -- 6 a.m. Monday in Beijing.
The statements of their respective chairman gave nothing away.
China Mobile's Xi Guohua pronounced himself "delighted" to be carrying a device "very much loved by millions MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 22, 2013 7:28 PM ET
With this much smoke, could fire be far behind?
FORTUNE -- Despite denials from China Mobile (CHL) and nothing from Apple (AAPL), iPhone ads -- with live reservation forms -- have turned up on China Mobile websites all over the People's Republic.
See also: China Mobile: No iPhone deal with Apple today.
Thanks to reader Michal Dussault for pulling together the links.Philip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 21, 2013 10:23 AM ET
Android's designers had to scrap their first try after Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone.
FORTUNE -- "As a consumer I was blown away. I wanted one immediately. But as a Google engineer, I thought 'We're going to have to start over.'"
That's the money quote in the excerpt from Chapter 2 of Fred Vogelstein's Dogfight that was posted online Wednesday by The Atlantic. (The first chapter, you may recall, was excerpted two months ago MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 20, 2013 7:40 AM ET
Apple shares were down sharply in early trading Wednesday.
FORTUNE -- "Around" Dec. 18 was when China Mobile (CHL) and Apple (AAPL) were to announce their iPhone distribution deal, according to the Wall Street Journal.
But it's not happening -- at least not on Dec. 18. By 2 p.m. Wednesday, Apple's shares had fallen $16.19 (3%). They recovered to close at $550.77, down $4.22 (0.76%) for the day.
According to Reuters and the New York MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 18, 2013 8:19 AM ET
Last week, Bernstein's Toni Sacconaghi put Apple's incremental sales at 15 million.
FORTUNE -- This week's burning question among Apple (AAPL) analysts is this:
If and when China Mobile (CHL) begins selling iPhones to its 759 million subscribers, how many will it sell in the first year?
Everybody's got numbers, but the two most persuasive estimates I've seen came from Bernstein's Toni Sacconaghi and Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty, who each took the time to show his or MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 16, 2013 10:22 AM ET
The iPhone's October upswing came before any news of a China Mobile deal.
FORTUNE -- Amid almost daily signs that a distribution deal between Apple (AAPL) and China Mobile (CHL) is imminent comes the attached chart from Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Research. It shows that even without the formal endorsement of the world's largest carrier, Apple's share of Chinese smartphone sales in October had surged to 12%.
From Counterpoint's report:
Apple's smartphone marketshare climbed to MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 12, 2013 10:37 AM ET
If so, why has the carrier's website since dropped any mention of Apple's smartphones?
FORTUNE -- Remember Groundhog Day, the 1993 comedy starring Bill Murray as a self-centered TV weatherman who gets stuck in a time loop and must repeat the same hated assignment again and again until he finally gets it right -- and wins Andie MacDowell's heart?
Investors who have been watching Apple's (AAPL) courtship of the world's largest mobile MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 9, 2013 7:52 AM ET
Cites a single unnamed source "familiar with the situation."
FORTUNE -- Is this the news Apple (AAPL) investors have been waiting so many years to hear?
WSJ: Apple, China Mobile Sign Deal to Offer iPhone
Without an official announcement or independent verification it's hard to say. The fact that it comes from the Wall Street Journal speaks well for the report. The fact that it hangs on a single, unnamed source... not so MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 4, 2013 9:45 PM ET
But who would have guessed that the old iPad Mini would come in second?
FORTUNE -- There are several curious findings in Localytics' attached chart comparing the post-Black Friday/Cyber Monday presence of various devices on its analytics network with their presence the previous week.
That Apple's (AAPL) new iPad Air grew the most (51%) is not terribly surprising. But who would have guessed that...
Gains for the much maligned iPhone 5C (up 26%) would MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 4, 2013 10:38 AM ET
A subsidiary's reservation website briefly went live Monday night, came back Wednesday.
FORTUNE -- The attached screen grab comes from a website registered by a subsidiary of China Mobile Limited (CHL) in Suzhou, a city of 5 million just west of Shanghai.
The site went live late Monday local time, and began reserving appointments for customers interested in buying the iPhone 5S or iPhone 5C.
UPDATE: A China Mobile spokesman told CNN's Beijing MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 2, 2013 11:26 PM ET
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