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Rumor: China Mobile Procuring iPhones from Telling

21st Century Business Herald, 4/29/11

Telling Communications, a subsidiary of Chinese handset distributor Telling (000829.SZ), has been China Mobile's (NYSE: CHL; 0941.HK) main supplier of iPhone smartphones, according to an industry source. The same source also revealed that Telling is providing the handsets for between RMB 3,200 and RMB 3,500 per unit, far below the current market price of RMB 4,400-4,500 for a standalone iPhone 4.

In the course of investigating China Mobile's iPhone suppliers, one reporter called listed parent Telling Telecom Holding's investor relations department claiming to be an investor and was told by a Telling employee that the company will sell iPhones to any customer, but could not verify whether Telling supplies China Mobile.

Telling Telecom's annual report for 2010 shows that Zhejiang Mobile is one of its top five clients, accounting for 1.25% of the company's revenues. Jiangsu Mobile also appears in Telling's list of top five customers. Companies which do not appear on the list, however, include China Unicom (NYSE: CHU; 0762.HK; 600050.SH), China Telecom (NYSE: CHA; 0728.HK), or any of their respective subsidiaries. On February 15 of this year, Telling Communications was appointed as Apple's authorized reseller for mainland China. Also, on the eve of China's New Year holiday in February, media from across China began reporting rumors of local China Mobile branches' plans to release subscription plans for both the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4.

Keywords: China Telecom China Mobile China Unicom iPhone handset wireless 000829.SZ Telling Apple CHL 0728.HK 0762.HK 0941.HK 600050.SH CHA CHU smartphone distribution pricing

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