Mobile switches to ‘naked device’ strategy

17 Sep 2014

China Mobile will focus on selling cheaper and unsubsidised handsets that are compatible with its Time Division Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) 4G network. Bloomberg quotes the general manager of the cellco’s technology department as saying that it will offer 4G devices from CNY600 (USD97.5) this quarter and around 70% of 4G devices will cost less than CNY1,000 by the end of the year. China Mobile, the largest operator by subscribers in the world, is looking to cut some USD2 billion in subsidies for high-end smartphones and will instead concentrate on selling ‘naked devices’ without subsidies or contracts. Chairman Xi Guohua explained the cellco’s change of tack: ‘The direction of our development is to completely focus on the mass market. We have 4G devices selling for less than CNY1,000. I believe [that] subsidy or no subsidy, discount or no discount, the common person will be able to appreciate this.’

China, China Mobile