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China Mobile reportedly rebuffs Apple's iPhone

Not happy with the 20%-30% cut Apple wants, says Chinese news site

January 14, 2008 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - China Mobile Communications Corp., which has been talking with Apple Inc. for more than two months about serving as the U.S. company's iPhone partner, has broken off negotiations, news reports said today.

According to stories out of Hong Kong by Forbes, The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal and others, the Chinese mobile service provider has halted talks for the time being.

"We can only say that negotiations have ended for now. We have no other news to report," a spokeswoman for China Mobile told The Wall Street Journal.

Earlier, the company's CEO, Wang Jianzhou, had expressed reservations about the revenue-sharing model that Apple requires from its other partners, including AT&T Inc. in the U.S. and T-Mobile in Germany.

Also today, the Chinese-language Web site reported that an unnamed official at China Mobile blamed the talks breakdown on Apple's insistence of a 20% to 30% share of the carrier's revenue earned from iPhone customers.

Apple has pledged to introduce the iPhone to Asia this year, but as is its practice, it has not specified countries or launch dates.

Representatives from the Cupertino, Calif., company did not return a call seeking comment.

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