- Bloomberg observes China Mobile (CHL +0.1%) is widely believed to be driving a hard bargain in its iPhone talks with Apple (AAPL -0.3%).
- Avondale's John Bright: "Apple’s unwillingness to provide meaningful concessions and China Mobile’s unwillingness to subsidize a high-cost device have inhibited a deal until now." HSBC's Tucker Grinnan thinks the world's biggest carrier wants a cut of App Store sales as part of any deal.
- CHL's ability to post decent 3G sub growth in spite of lacking the iPhone has arguably given it more leverage. Bloomberg's column comes amidst speculation a Beijing iPhone satellite event could include a CHL announcement.
- KGI's Ming-Chi Kuo now thinks a retina iPad Mini will launch by the end of 2013 (along with a 5th-gen regular iPad). That's in-line with an Aug. Bloomberg report.
- Kuo also believes a new non-retina Mini will launch in early '14 to take on cheap Android tablets that have been rapidly gaining share (particularly in emerging markets), and that both the retina Mini and 5th-gen iPad will use a new A7X CPU (the 4th-gen iPad uses the A6X).
- IHS thinks Apple may need to acquire a DRAM/NAND flash memory manufacturer, to secure supply, develop custom parts (something suppliers have been reluctant to do for Apple), and match Samsung's level of vertical integration.
- The firm argues Micron (MU +2.8%) "could be a logical [M&A] candidate." But with a market cap of $15.7B, it definitely wouldn't come cheap. Apple bought NAND controller developer Anobit last year.