A survey of Chinese consumers suggests that a deal between and China Mobile to sell the iPhone to the carrier’s customers holds the potential to incrementally boost Apple’s phone sales in the country by at least 12 million units in the 2014 calendar year.
The projection comes from data compiled by AlphaWise and Morgan Stanley Research, which identified 12 million units as a “base case” scenario. The survey polled consumers in major Chinese cities earlier this year.
A more optimistic “bull case” scenario show Apple could sell an additional 23 million phones via China Mobile. That scenario assumes an addressable market of 279 million users, derived from a poll that included respondents who were otherwise not planning on purchasing a new smartphone in the next year, unless the iPhone were available.
Morgan Stanley’s predictions show Apple adding $2.40 to Apple’s per share earnings for the calendar year.
For the pessimists in their audience, Morgan Stanley also included a “bear case” scenario that would see Apple selling just 5 million additional handsets. This scenario could play out if Apple is presented with a much smaller 121 million group of addressable users.
China Mobile serves some 759 million subscribers, which makes it the world’s largest wireless provider.