Apple set to sell iPads, iPhone 5 in China

This could be the catalyst to get shares moving sharply higher, as China is one of the tech giant's fastest-growing markets.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 30, 2012 2:30PM

Apple product © Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP PhotoBythestreet LOGO Chris Ciaccia, TheStreet

 

One of the largest bull cases on Apple (AAPL) is the growing popularity of its devices in China. That wave may be about to be unleashed, as the iPhone 5 is going East.

 

Apple confirmed Friday morning that the Wi-Fi versions of its iPad Mini and fourth-generation iPad will be coming to China on Dec. 7. The iPhone 5 will be available one week later, Dec. 14. It's expected that the iPhone 5 will come to China Telecom (CHA) and China Unicom (CHU). 


Now that Apple is able to get the iPhone 5, which has healthy demand in the United States, in the hands of Chinese citizens in time for the holiday shopping season, Wall Street's prevailing estimates for iPhone sales could be conservative.

 

Analysts have had a difficult time figuring out foreign iPhone sales, as the numbers are not reported with the regularity you'd get from such domestic carriers as AT&T (T), Verizon Communications (VZ) and Sprint (S). Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said he believes Apple will sell 45 million units this quarter, but that was based on checks with Apple Stores in the United States. Apple has only seven stores in China and Hong Kong.

 

Apple has been working on iPhone 5 availability, and ramping up production, as components become more readily available. Apple's website has shown an improvement in iPhone 5 ship dates, as back orders have improved. They've moved from three to four weeks to two to three weeks, now down to one week. 

 

Supply and demand are starting to balance, which is inherently a good thing for Apple, as CEO Tim Cook noted in the company's fiscal-fourth-quarter conference call. "The demand for iPhone is extremely robust. We are thrilled with what we see," Cook told analysts and shareholders.

 

Cook went on to note that revenue from China rose 26% in the quarter to $5.7 billion. The iPhone 5 had not officially been granted network access yet, and with deals with Chinese wireless providers on the way, it's widely expected this number will be much higher in the coming months.

 

Signing a deal with China Mobile (CHL) -- the world's largest mobile carrier -- will be key for Apple. China Mobile had more than 700 million subscribers at the end of October. Of those, 79.3 million are 3G subscribers. China Mobile is working on building out its own 4G network, which many presume to be the final stage of an Apple-China Mobile deal. If Apple were to capture even 20% of those 79.3 million, that's good for another 15 million iPhones.

 

The network access for the iPhone 5 is a huge coup for Apple, one that will help turn the tide against SamsungZTE and other device makers that are firmly entrenched in China.

 

More from TheStreet.com

1Comment
Nov 30, 2012 10:44PM
avatar
They already have them through the Black Market. That's what happens when you've only got the management team here and the substantial part of the business working in sweatshops. Good luck, but don't expect to make a buck, suckers.
Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

ABOUT TECHBIZ

Start investing in technology companies with help from financial writers and experts who know the industry best. Learn what to look for in a technology company to make the right investment decisions.

RECENT POSTS

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

RECENT QUOTES

WATCHLIST

Symbol
Last
Change
Shares
Quotes delayed at least 15 min

MSN MONEY'S