On Sunday we posted a special report titled "The Perfect Storm: All Eyes are on Apple's Strategy for China covering current trends and possible moves to unfold later this year. Apple has been in secret talks with China Mobile for the past four years and in January China Mobile admitted to a confidentiality agreement with Apple which was the first sign that a plan could be in place for the iPhone to debut on their network within the next year. Now Cook is back in China making new headlines.
With confirmation that Apple has an entry-level mid-range iPhone in production, Apple will be able to reach more than 55% of China's market that prefers lower cost products over premium smartphones like the iPhone 5.
The news today, though rather muted, is that Apple's CEO Tim Cook met once again with Mobile China to further discuss business matters regarding the iPhone. This was a part of business trip where Cook met with all of their current iPhone carriers/distributors as well to likely work out details for the new iPhone Lite that's likely to launch later this year.
The Global Times report confirms this by stating that "the topics of their meetings included communication on a strategic level, sales of iPhone products and the introduction of next-generation products to China." .
Tim Cook met with China Mobile's Chairman Xi Gouhua yesterday. This is definitely the one carrier that Apple needs firing on cylinders this year for the iPhone if they're to rise beyond their current sixth spot in China. Will Mobile China be on board for with the iPhone Lite this year? Only time will tell.