Apple has failed to ink a lucrative 4G deal with humungo cellphone carrier China Mobile due to poor demand for its plastic iPhone 5C, a leading analyst has claimed.
The world's largest mobile carrier has already launched a 4G LTE network, which was widely anticipated to coincide with the announcement of a long-anticipated deal with Apple.
But the fruity firm's phones remain stubbornly unavailable to the giant telco's 760 million customers, representing a huge lost opportunity for Cupertino.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested this was due to lower-than-expected demand for the iPhone 5C, which was expected to fly off the shelves in the People's Republic.
This may have forced China Mobile to renegotiate its 4G deal with Apple.
He wrote: "While previously we estimated that Apple originally planned the TD-LTE [4G] version would account for 30% of total iPhone 5C shipments, our latest survey indicates that demand for the TD-LTE iPhone 5C has declined dramatically due to 5S being far more popular than 5C among China Mobile subscribers.
"As such, we estimate iPhone 5C shipments of the TD-LTE version for China Mobile at 1.0-1.5mn units in 4Q13 and under 1.0mn units in 1Q14, well below Apple’s original production plan.
"We believe this would necessitate a re-negotiation of the Apple-China Mobile deal and therefore defer its finalization." ®