Analysts at Stifel see some great potential for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the rapid growth of China’s mobile market, specifically at China Mobile. A team of analysts took a closer look at China Mobile’s June results and determined what they might mean for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).


Investors should note Apple’s growth in China

The analysts draw investors’ attention to the 18 percent year over year growth Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has enjoyed in China as a key comp. They believe this implies a two times year over year increase in China retail store sales.

In particular, the analysts looked at China Mobile’s 3G subscriber additions. The company took 54 percent of the total 3G subscriber additions in China during the month of June. China Mobile outpaces China Telecom and China Unicom in 3G subscribership, and so far this year, the carrier has taken abou54 percent of all 3G mobile subscriber additions among all three carriers. In the year before, the company only took 35 percent of the net addition of subscribers among the three carriers.

Will Apple make a deal with China Mobile?

Many investors are hoping Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will finally make a deal for China Mobile to support the iPhone in the second half of this year. Stifel analysts say we could hear the announcement along with the launch of Apple’s next iPhone.

Stifel continues to rate shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as a Buy with a $600 per share price target. They estimate that the company sold about 25.5 million iPhones during the second quarter of the year with a $600 average selling price, indicating a higher iPhone 4 / 4S mix.

Many investors continue to see China Mobile as one of the most important opportunities for Apple. A deal with the carrier would be a key driver of growth for the company, especially if it can add a low-cost iPhone model to address emerging markets like China before the end of the year.