Tim Cook visits China to discuss low-cost iPhone with Carriers?

tim-cook-china

According to Chinese website, iFeng.com (via MacRumors), Apple’s CEO Tim Cook visited China recently.

The report speculates that Cook may have visited the country to discuss the decline in year-on-year revenue in the last quarter. Apple had reported a surprise drop of 14% in revenue in China.

The report also claims that he may have met with Chinese carriers including China Unicom and the world’s largest carrier, China Mobile to discuss the launch of the rumored low-cost iPhone, dubbed iPhone 5C.

It is speculated that with the previous high-level meetings with China Telecom Cook similar, the two sides level will mainly focus on the issues discussed at the strategic level, may also be involved in co-generation iPhone and sales.

Insiders pointed out that China and the Cook high-level talks with China Telecom, may mean that the new generation iPhone will likely be listed in China through China Telecom first sale.

It is understood that since Apple CEO Cook served as third visit to China since it is unclear the specific time of Cook’s visit and travel arrangements, Cook is expected to be in the next few days, respectively, in China Unicom and China Mobile executives meeting. Early January 2013 and mid-March 2012, Apple CEO Cook to the identity of the first visit to China, one after another with the Ministry of Industry executives and China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom’s top leaders met.

Since Cook served as Apple CEO, Apple’s emphasis on the Chinese market gradually improved. At present, through China Unicom and China Telecom, Apple covers China’s 350 million users.

Apple has been rumored to launch a low-cost or budget iPhone alongside the iPhone 5S to target emerging markets. In fact, the report by China Labor Watch, a New York based non-profit, which highlighted safety and environmental violations, along with instances of worker pay being withheld, also confirmed that Apple was gearing up to launch the cheaper plastic iPhone.

If Apple wants to increase its market share in China, it needs to make the iPhone a lot more affordable and also sign a deal with China Mobile, which is the world’s largest mobile operator by subscribers with over 700 million subscribers.

[iFeng via MacRumors]