This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

How China Mobile Could Get the iPhone (Update 1)

Stocks in this article: QCOM AAPL CHL

Updated from 9:17 a.m. EST to provide analyst comments in the fifth paragraph.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- China Mobile (CHL) is the one major carrier in the world without Apple's (AAPL) iPhone. Qualcomm (QCOM) may be about to change that.

Qualcomm announced a new Long Term Evolution (LTE) chipset on Thursday, the RF360 Front End Solution, which for the first time ever offers a truly global 4G LTE design for mobile devices. It can run on all seven modes, including LTE-FDD, LTE-TDD, WCDMA, EV-DO, CDMA 1x, TD-SCDMA and GSM/EDGE.

That's important, because China Mobile's 3G network is TD-SCDMA based, though it is working on a 4G network with its own homegrown technology. Part of the reason why Apple has not brought the iPhone to the world's largest carrier is that the technologies did not match up, but the new Qualcomm chip may change that.

Alex Katouzian, Qualcomm's senior vice president of product management, hinted at this in the press release. "Our new RF devices are tightly integrated and will allow us the flexibility and scalability to supply OEMs of all types, from those requiring only a region-specific LTE solution, to those needing LTE global roaming support," Katouzian was quoted as saying.

Deutsche Bank analyst Brian Modoff called this chipset a big deal in a research note, saying it will be beneficial to Qualcomm to have a complete front-end solution. He noted that he was "admittedly surprised that their first generation will include LTE." Modoff rated Qualcomm "buy" with a $78 price target.

Apple currently uses Qualcomm as part of the components for the iPhone 5. It uses Qualcomm's MDM9615M LTE modem and RTR8600 Multi-band/mode RF transceiver, according to ifixit's teardown of the device.

Despite not officially having a contract with Apple, China Mobile is thought to have as many as 15 million iPhones on its network. An official deal could mean a significantly higher number of iPhones on the telecom giant's network.

China Mobile is currently the only major provider in China that does not have access to the iPhone 5. Both China Telecom (CHA) and China Unicom (CHU) signed deals with Apple to bring the iPhone 5 to their networks last year.

A deal with China Mobile would be welcome news for Apple shareholders, who have had a tough go of it in recent months. Over the past three months, Apple shares have fallen 20.6%, compared to a 7% gain in the Nasdaq.

In an analyst note last month Evercore Partners analyst Rob Cihra said he believes China Mobile will eventually need to come to the table with Apple, as it's losing market share for the most important clients, ones who use data plans, or 3G customers. "We think China Mobile could be starting to 'need' the iPhone more, since it has seen its 3G market share erode by -7 percent to 37 percent since 2011 vs. China Telecom+Unicom having gained +7 percent to 63 percent," Cihra wrote in his note.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,053.71 +23.50 0.13%
S&P 500 2,088.77 +6.89 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,806.8590 +33.3870 0.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs