Dec 18 Came and Went, But Still No Apple-China Mobile Done Deal

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | December 19, 2013 1:32 PM EST

And so it can be told. Dec 18, 2013 was indeed just another day in the calendar. Apple Inc and China Mobile Ltd have yet to arrive an agreement. Or perhaps announce it.

Early this week, the WSJ flaunted the two telecoms firms will announce a definitive merger on Wednesday that is expected to catapult both companies to telecoms supremacy.

WSJ said the announcement will coincide with China Mobile Ltd's launch of its 4G network program.

Read: China Mobile-Apple Deal on Dec 18? Could China Mobile Really Live Up to the Promise of Surging Phone Sales for Apple?

On D-day, China Mobile Ltd made no announcement concerning an alliance with Apple Inc.

Xi Guohua, the chairman China Mobile Ltd, during the company's 4G launch, told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Guangzhou, a southern city of China, that they have nothing to announce that would imply of a done deal with Apple Inc.

He, however, said that both companies are still in the process of negotiations on how the Chinese firm will carry Apple's smartphones.

But judging from the flurry of activity currently happening on China Mobile Ltd's Web site, the alliance is just only a matter of time.

The Chinese telecom firm's Web site was observed to have been taking massive orders of what appears to be iPhone 5s units. From 24,473 orders on Thursday morning U.S. time, this has zoomed to 70,000 on Wednesday morning U.S. time. Two other China Mobile websites in different cities were also seen advertising Apple's iPad.

"The market expected to see an announcement today, even though this was not something formally endorsed by Apple or China Mobile," Alex Gauna, a JMP Securities analyst, was quoted by USA Today.

"China Mobile's management team remains 'optimistic' about a potential future relationship with Apple," Ben Reitzes, Barclays analyst, said in a report.  "Even with today's lack of announcement, Apple may be one of the few companies in our space to grow in China in its fiscal 2014 and this still seems to be achievable without China Mobile."

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