Optical/IP Networks

China's Illicit iPhones

9:00 AM -- Quite a lot of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s mysteriously missing iPhones have shown up on China Mobile Communications Corp. 's network, it appears. According to a report by In-Stat , China Mobile said there were about 400,000 iPhones running on its network at the end of last year. (See Where Are the Missing iPhones?.)

It will be interesting to see how Apple can negotiate a distribution deal with an operator in China given that so many unlocked iPhones are already in use there. Why should any Chinese operator agree to share service revenues with Apple through an official partnership when many Chinese consumers are already using the iPhone without the operators having to hand over a penny to the device maker?

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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