Back to top

Analyst Blog

China Mobile Limited (CHL - Snapshot Report), the largest wireless carrier in the world by subscriber base, intends to sell 100 million mobile phones in 2013 with almost 80% of it in smartphones. This indicates a remarkable improvement of 25% over 2012 expected sales of 70-80 million units. A potential deal with the world’s second largest smartphone manufacturer Apple Inc. (AAPL - Analyst Report) can be attributable for the raised guidance.

China Mobile covers more than half of the Chinese mobile market with a subscriber base of 698.51 million at the end of third quarter 2012. Nevertheless, the company’s 3G customers comprise only 11% (75.6 million) of its huge subscriber base.

Two of its closest rivals – China Unicom Limited (CHU - Analyst Report) and ChinaTelecom Corp. (CHA - Snapshot Report) – with subscriber base of 229.49 million and 152.62 million, respectively, lags far behind but have far better 3G customer concentration than China Mobile. This provides China Mobile a significant opportunity to tap this under penetrated 3G market.

China Mobile’s biggest flaw is that it offers mobile service based on Time Division-Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access (TD-SCDMA) technology, which is not very well supported by the handset makers includingApple Inc.’s iPhone, resulting in lower upload/download speed. However, the competitors like China Unicom and China Telecom offer their services through globally acknowledged Wide Band Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) technology.     

With nearly a billion cell phone users, China Mobile offers a huge smartphone market, which is still being dominated by Google Inc.’s Android operating system (OS) and Apple’s iOS comes at a distant second place. 

The company has been in talks with Apple for quite some time in order to develop a TD-SCDMA iPhone, although nothing has been finalized yet. We believe China Mobile has to strike a deal with Apple sooner rather than later to have any realistic chance of achieving its 2013 smartphone sales target. 

China Mobile currently has a Zacks #2 Rank, implying a short-term Buy rating.

Please login to Zacks.com or register to post a comment.

New to Zacks?

Start Here

Zacks Investment Research

Close

Are you a new Zacks Member or a visitor to Zacks.com?

Top Zacks Features

My Portfolio Tracker

Is it Time to Sell?

One of the most important steps you can take today is to set up your portfolio tracker on Zacks.com. Once you do, you'll be notified of major events affecting your stocks and/or funds with daily email alerts.

More Zacks Resources

Zacks Rank Home - Evaluate your stocks and use the Zacks Rank to eliminate the losers and keep the winners.

Mutual Fund Rank Home - Evaluate your funds with the Mutual Fund Rank for both your personal and retirement funds.

Stock/Mutual Fund Screening - Find better stocks and mutual funds. The ones most likely to beat the market and provide a positive return.

My Portfolio - Track your Portfolio and find out where your stocks/mutual funds stack up with the Zacks Rank.

Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers for Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers

Company Symbol Price %Chg
RPC INC RES 24.91 +8.35%
LITHIA MOTO… LAD 94.59 +4.60%
DELTA AIR L… DAL 39.15 +3.90%
FLAMEL TECH… FLML 14.51 +3.50%
SOUTHWEST A… LUV 28.87 +2.92%