With China Mobile pre-orders for Apple's iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C starting on December 25, Wells Fargo analyst Maynard Um thinks it's time for investors to get ready for a financial boost to Apple's bottom line in both its December and March quarters. Bringing the iPhone to China Mobile also bodes well for Sprint because the U.S. carrier plans to start using the same radio frequencies next year.
Wells Fargo expects China Mobile deal to boost iPhone sales
Mr. Um told investors,
The deal should give further confidence to both December and March quarter iPhone units. China Mobile's TD-LTE network operates in the 2.5GHz band, which could also bode well for iPhone at Sprint, which plans to overlay a faster 4G coverage in urban areas in 2014 using the 2.5GHz spectrum acquired through Clearwire.
Apple officially announced its China Mobile deal over the weekend, putting to rest the all but confirmed rumors that the iPhone would finally be available on the world's largest cell service network. China Mobile currently has over 760 million customers, which is more than the population of most countries.
Adding China Mobile to the iPhone family means that Apple can finally offer its smartphones through all three of China's carriers.
The prospect of new iPhone sales has already boosted Apple's stock. Following Sunday's announcement, the company's stock shot up more than US$18 to around $567 where it has hovered ever since.
Mr. Um is expecting Apple to sell 54.8 million iPhones during its December quarter, and 42.8 million during the March quarter. "While the China Mobile announcement had long been anticipated, we believe the official announcement, and the consequent certainty, should be viewed as a positive," he said.
Pre-orders for the iPhone start tomorrow, but Apple's new smartphone lineup won't be available on China Mobile until January 17, 2014.
Apple is currently trading at $567.30, down 2.79 (0.49%).