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China Mobile (NYSE: CHL ) will finally get the iPhone. After months -- years, actually -- of speculation, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) announced that it will team up with China Mobile to offer the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.
This is a pretty big deal. China Mobile is not just China's leading wireless carrier: China Mobile is the world's largest wireless carrier. Apple has been available through China's second and third largest providers for years, but this is still a great way to grow its reach for affluent Chinese citizens who can afford the iPhone and the costly data plans.
There's plenty of potential within China Mobile. It had 763.3 million mobile customers at the end of November, and just 181.1 million of them were on 3G connectivity. Naturally, the majority of them can't afford to be on anything other than old-school feature phones, but as China's economy improves, the migration to smartphones will be something to watch. Apple isn't going to overtake Android as China's mobile operating system of choice, but all it needs is a decent chunk of that market to really move the needle.
Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.
- Twitter (NYSE: TWTR ) hit yet another fresh high this week before retreating -- not retweeting -- after an analyst at Macquarie Equities Research downgraded the stock. Then again, the sticking to a $46 price doesn't seem to flattering to Macquarie.
- Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA ) saw its shares recharged this week after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reaffirmed the Model S sedan's five-star safety rating. Consumers may take a little more time to be convinced, but it's a good sign that the recent Tesla fires were merely coincidental.
- BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY ) saw its ex-CEO sell a good chunk of his stock in the fading smartphone pioneer. He's also abandoning his early exploratory efforts. He's simply doing what former BlackBerry phone owners are doing.
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