I didn't hear the ringside bell, but Round 1 of negotiations between Apple
It's not surprising that talks haven't gone fast and smooth. Many carriers around the world have bristled at the terms Apple requires for offering the device. And China is not an easy market to break into -- it took Qualcomm
And I imagine it's tough to convince a company already signing up 5 million to 6 million customers a month that it absolutely needs the iPhone. In the U.S., the hypercompetitive environment worked to Steve Jobs' advantage because AT&T
With discussions on ice about a deal in China, many are wondering if Apple will be able to reach sales goals for the iPhone for 2008. Many see China's No. 2 wireless carrier, China Unicom
But Unicom's 120 million subscribers is nothing to sneeze at, and while the bulk of consumers likely can't afford an iPhone, I'm guessing a surprising number will find the money to carry the trendy device. (The high-end market in China will be tested soon when Research In Motion
Being runner-up, China Unicom might be more willing to accept revenue-sharing terms Apple is demanding. Even though Jobs commented that 4 million iPhones have been sold so far, expectations are still high for Apple, which might lead the company to other partners who are willing to speed the introduction along.
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Fool contributor Dave Mock no longer makes definite predictions and sticks with bland generalizations instead. He owns shares of Qualcomm and is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. The Fool has a disclosure policy.