If Apple really wants to sell an additional boatload (or a thousand boatloads) of iPhones, it should be eyeing China — and TD-SCDMA.
According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, China’s 3G TD-SCDMA handset shipments will grow 600% during 2010. Yep, 600%. With the backing of the world’s largest mobile operator, China Mobile, TD-SCDMA will be one of the fastest growing mobile technologies in the world, making China an important 3G market.
Neil Mawston, director at Strategy Analytics, says the surging volumes of TD-SCDMA handsets will mean no major phone maker can afford to ignore China. “If Apple eventually chooses to launch a TD-SCDMA version of its iPhone, then we believe this would ignite the market and provide considerable upside for Apple in China,” he adds.
Of course, this would take some work on Apple’s part in conjunction with a wireless carrier in China (I’d bet on China Mobile). TD_SCDMA (Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access) or UTRA/UMTS-TDD 1.28 Mcps Low Chip Rate is an air interface found in UMTS mobile telecommunications networks in China as an alternative to W-CDMA.
It’s designed to enable the rapid spread of telecommunications to thinly populated areas and offer a broad transmission bandwidth that provides access to the Internet. Most of the phones in the US use GSM or CDMA technologies. AT&T, which is the exclusive wireless carrier for Apple in the US, uses GSM. However, Apple is expected to (eventually) offer a CDMA version of the iPhone for use on the Verizon network, so it’s a likely scenario that a TD-SCDMA version might also arrive.
It would be worth it on Apple’s part. Mobile technology has enormous potential in the largest mobile market in the world, with sales of over five million handsets a month.