iPhone Sales in China Leading to Huge 3G Subscription Growth

By Prarthito Maity email: p.maity@mobilenapps.com | Dec 27, 2012 05:43 AM EST

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China always had a liking for Apple products, and with the new iPhone finally emerging in the country, the Cupertino-based company has revealed the major profit it made from the sales. However, Apple is not the only one who was benefitted from the iPhone sales, as it seems like even the Chinese people have some good news heading their way, as far as wireless subscribers are concerned.

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Per reports, it has been projected that by the end of 2013, the 3G subscriptions in China will grow by a massive 325-350 million users, which is quite a big number as compared what the country currently has.

Although this may seem like a huge number, it is strange that the world's largest mobile market is still lagging behind others as far as 3G is concerned. This means that by the end of 2012, 3G subscribers will represent only about 20 percent of all of China's wireless subscribers.

"China is lagging behind believe it or not despite the impressive growth. Last year the 3G subscriber base was only about 12%. By the end of 2013, it is projected that 3G subscriptions will grow by another 325-350 million users," a Phone Arena report states. "China Mobile, the world's largest carrier with over 700 million subscribers, has only a little over 80 million using its proprietary 3G network (TD-CDMA)."

Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets, per a BGR report, showed these findings while noting that 3G subscription have risen in China by 88 percent year-over-year and totaled 222 million in November. Currently, 3G subscribers now represent over 20.1 percent of China's wireless customers, as compared to 12.2 percent just a year ago.

"China Mobile, the world's largest mobile carrier, had 707.3 million wireless subscribers in November, 82.4 million of which were utilizing the company's 3G (TD-SCDMA) technology. While the carrier represents 64% of the total wireless subscribers in China, it only has 37% of 3G users, a decrease from 41% of 3G users in 2011," BGR states.

"China Mobile is the only major carrier in China that does not offer Apple's (AAPL) iPhone, which has hurt the carrier and boosted its competitors China Telecom and China Unicom, which have grown 99% over the past year and have a combined total of 139.2 million 3G users."

However, the country's 3G numbers are still comparatively low when compared to other developed nations despite the recent boom. Nonetheless, White believes there are "significant growth opportunities for mobile device companies such as Apple over the next several years."

Apple launched the iPhone 5 in China on Dec. 14 on both carriers, and in the first weekend, more than two million units were sold.


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