Well, here’s one reason the talks may have broken down: According to China Mobile, there were already 400,000 cracked iPhones using its cellular network by the end of 2007.
That number, if accurate, is astonishing. It would mean that there are more unauthorized iPhones in China than there are authorized iPhones in Europe. It would account for the largest part of the so-called “missing” iPhones. And it would suggest that China Mobile may be far less willing than the European carriers to give Steve Jobs the hefty revenue sharing cut he demands in return for the right to be that country’s exclusive iPhone carrier. Why should China Mobile pay for what it’s already getting for free?
Of course, it’s also possible that the number is bogus, a trick card being played by China Mobile in the high-stakes poker game it is playing with Cupertino. The figure first appeared, as near as we can tell, in a report written by Anty Zheng, content manager for an online newsletter called In-Stat China. For the full text, see here.
Zheng goes on to argue that an Apple-China Mobile deal would be good for both parties:
Silicon Alley Insider
for the tip.