Apple CEO visits China mobile for business cooperation

2013-01-11 04:13:41 GMT2013-01-11 12:13:41(Beijing Time)

Apple Inc's Chief Executive Tim Cook met with China Mobile's Chairman Xi Guohua yesterday to discuss "matters of cooperation," a China Mobile spokesman said, raising hopes that a deal between the two tech giants may move forward.

"In the morning, Apple's CEO Tim Cook visited China Mobile's headquarters. China Mobile's Chairman Xi Guohua and Tim Cook discussed matters of cooperation," said Li Jun, a China Mobile spokesman, in an e-mailed statement.

No further details will be given due to a confidentiality agreement, the statement said.

Apple, which has deals with China Unicom and China Telecom to sell its iPhones in China, has yet to strike a deal with China Mobile, the world's largest mobile carrier by subscribers.

Inking a deal with China Mobile will give Apple access to a massive subscriber base and help arrest the US firm's sliding market share in the world's biggest smartphone market.

On his second visit to China after becoming CEO of the world's No. 1 technology titan, Cook also predicted China, Apple's second-biggest regional market, will become the firm's No. 1 regional market by revenue through higher investment and new Apple Stores, local media reported yesterday.

Cook is also planning to open "more than the original plan" of 25 Apple Stores in China, up from 11 now, news portal said.

Meanwhile, Apple is said to be studying the release of a low-end iPhone toward the end of this year, targeting emerging markets including China, according to research firms such as Fitch and Morgan Stanley.

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