China Mobile is set to offer the iPhone from Dec. 18, and since hearing the news most of us have been asking one major question: just how many handsets can we expect China Mobile, the biggest carrier in the world's largest smartphone market, to sell? If a recent survey has it right, the answer could be at least 12 million units, and quite possibly many, many more.
The survey comes from AlphaWise and Morgan Stanley Research (and reached us from AppleInsider). In their research, AlphaWise and Morgan Stanley Research polled consumers in several major Chinese cities earlier this year, and concluded that a “base case” scenario should see some 12 million iPhone handsets sell next year.
This, the report adds, would add around $2.40 per share to Apple's stock in 2014. However, the situation could pan out much better than this.
AlphaWise and Morgan Stanley Research also offer a “bull case” scenario, which is a more optimistic (and arguably less realistic) prediction for China Mobile iPhone sales. The best possible sales figures the report envisages would be a huge 23 million units in 2014, and this would see around $5 per share added to Apple stock.
For a more pessimistic “bear case,” AlphaWise and Morgan Stanley Research predict worst possible sales of just 5 million iPhone handsets from China Mobile. However, as a carrier with some 740 million subscribers on its books, it seems unlikely that such a comparably low number of smartphones will sell over the course of next year.
Other analysts have offered similar predictions: Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray predicts China Mobile iPhone sales of 17 million, Edge Partners analyst Brian Blair expects sales of between 18 and 20 million, Brian White with Cantor Fitzgerald envisages sales of between 20 and 24 million, and ISI analyst Brian Marshall goes even further predicting astronomical sales of 38.7 million. Our original report continued:
China Mobile's “huge subscriber base” consists of around 740 million customers, and it's the largest carrier in China – which itself is the world's largest smartphone market – by a long way. To put this figure into perspective, rival carriers China Unicom and China Telecom have 454 million subscribers between them.
Preorders for the iPhone with China Mobile have already launched, and the smartphone is expected to reach subscribers on Dec. 18 - the same day the carrier's TD-LTE network is scheduled to launch.
Check back with us because we'll be sharing more information on China Mobile's iPhone launch as we receive it.
In the meantime, see: No Longer A Gimmick, Qualcomm Admits: A7 Chip “Hit Us In The Gut”, Opera's Coast iPad Web Browser Goes 2.0 With New Notable Enhancements, and Apple Unveils Best iOS Apps Of 2013: Duolingo And Disney Animated Take No. 1 Spots.