On Friday, the mobile community received mixed signals with regard to Apple's presence inside of China. On one hand, iPhones are surging in popularity amidst a massive push on the part of Apple. On the other, subsidy costs to Chinese carriers are making the iPhone exponentially less attractive to offer.
Earlier today, MMi reported that China Unicom, China's only WCDMA carrier, may discontinue contract sales of the Apple smartphone. This isn't exactly what Apple wants to hear on the verge of the 6th generation iPhone's release.
In September 2010, China Unicom began offering two-year contract-bundles of the iPhone 4. Now, as these contracts reach expiration, rumors indicate that China Unicom may not offer an opportunity to extend the coverage. China Unicom "has not substantially profited from sales of iPhone 4 and has incurred a heavy financial burden from subsidies."
But according to comments made just last night by Apple's financial chief Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's growth potential inside of China is both promising and practically unlimited.
Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer came across as highly confident in the company’s future plans, especially regarding its opportunity for growth in China, during a Thursday conference call with analysts. That confidence implies that Apple will release its hotly anticipated iPhone 5 and iTV offerings sooner rather than later.
Source: Market Watch