Russia may be close to having two official iPhone operators. To reveal advanced negotiations, so advanced as to be almost concluded, between two of the main operators of the largest of the European countries, Vedomosti.
The financial magazine, a rather authoritative source (the result of a joint venture between Dow Jones and the Financial Times), indicates as partner of Cupertino Beeline and Megafon, respectively second and third local mobile operator for a total of about 80 million lines. The deal could also be concluded very quickly, the newspaper says, were it not that Apple requires the two operators to buy 3 to 4.5 million iPhones, a huge number so large as to be impossible to sell as the analyst points out MForum Analytics, Dmitry Deev.
Four million phones make up 12% of the Russian market and 33% in terms of total value. There would be no possibility for Beeline and Megafon to reach these figures. A more realistic term ranges from 500 to 600 thousand iPhones, at least given the current iPhone price. Only if Apple reduced the cost below $ 250 could one think of reaching the figures imposed by Cupertino's plans.
Recall, confirming the fact that Russia is interested in Apple, Jobs's words just after the launch of the 3G version. At that moment the CEO of Cupertino had said that the presentation of the telephone in that country "desired" for the current year, even if subsequently one of the managers of the Apple had then spoken of the presentation "by 2009". As for the amount of iPhone possible that Apple has based on the huge amount of unlocked iPhones sold: 250 thousand last April, and this with costs of even $ 1000.
Meanwhile, Apple adds a new operator to its list of partners for iPhone. This is Turkcell, the main mobile operator in Turkey (36 million lines); in the Eurasian country Vodafone had already announced an agreement with Apple. Finally, always talking about large countries, it should be noted that China Mobile is still in negotiations with the Apple, even if nothing has been signed yet. An authoritative source announced this: Wang Jianzhou, president of the mobile operator. The signature of China Mobile would be very important for the iPhone numbers considering the almost 400 million users; to stand between the wishes and the signing of a contract there are some obstacles of no small importance. One of these technician; China Mobile is experimenting with a proprietary 3G technology, not compatible with that used by the iPhone. Apple should therefore, in the current state of things, create an ad hoc version of the iPhone for China.