China Mobile aims to sell 100 million 4G phones next year as it takes advantage of low prices, possible cooperation with Apple on the iPhone as well as wider coverage in 340 cities nationwide, the world's biggest mobile carrier said Wednesday.
The telco eyes sales of 190-220 million 3G and new 4G phones next year, compared with 155 million 3G phones this year. The company expects sales of 4G phones at 100 million in 2014, according to Xi Guohua, chairman of China Mobile.
"There will be more than 200 models that are 4G. Every one can afford it because some cost less than 1,000 yuan (US$165) each," Xi said at a conference held in Guangzhou yesterday.
It was the first time for China Mobile, which also launched a new 4G brand called "He" yesterday, to project 4G sales figures after getting the 4G license early this month.
China Mobile is in talks with Apple on iPhones supporting its 4G network. Both sides, however, didn't reveal details yesterday.
Instead, the telco yesterday signed 4G deals with more than 10 mobile phone makers, including Samsung, HTC and Xiaomi.
The telco will also expand 4G coverage to 340 cities nationwide by the end of 2014, a sharp jump from the 16 cities with 4G by the end of this year.
In Shanghai, users can pre-order 4G services in local outlets, which will be available by the end of this year.
The 4G technology offers mobile Internet access 20-50 times faster than the current 3G network and create a new trillion-yuan market for devices and services.
It also helps China Mobile to fight back against China Unicom and China Telecom, especially in the high-end smartphone segment, industry insiders said.