China Mobile just posted its first profit decline in years, but Apple is not to blame. Of the carrier’s million-plus new mobile subscribers in February, about one million of them are iPhone users, reports The Wall Street Journal.
“We added 1.34 million new 4G users in February and most of them are iPhone users. We are happy with the progress as we are still building our 4G network and the coverage is only available in some major cities,” China Mobile Chairman Xi Gouhua told the Journal.
That’s certainly not bad news for Apple, but it’s a little lower than expected. Some analysts were anticipating yearly sales as high as 17 million units, which doesn’t look likely to happen at this point.
These lower-than-expected sales aren’t entirely surprising. After all, China’s “4G” network is still in its infancy, and the iPhone is an expensive device. It’s still possible for sales to pick up in the future, though, especially as 4G access spreads, and Apple’s access to the carrier’s 760 million subscribers is only a good thing.