Shares of Apple are up on news of a deal with China Mobile. But is this the right time to invest in the company?
The deal Apple investors have been waiting for is finally here.
The world's largest mobile company, China Mobile, will begin selling iPhones to its 760 million customers starting January 17. That comes as little surprised given the amount of rumors surrounding the deal for months. Nonetheless, shares of Apple were up 3.25% on Monday. Shares of the tech giant are up 6.5% year year-to-date.
Apple currently has about 6% of the smartphone market in China and this deal is considered particularly important. But, if investors are hoping for a payoff to Apple's bottom line, CNBC contributor Gina Sanchez believes they'll need to be patient.
"It's going to take a little time for Apple to really monetize this deal because the technology that China Mobile's network's subscribers use is a technology that Apple's iPhone doesn’t support," says Sanchez. "There are about 30 to 35 million users out of the 760 million that are using iPhones but they're using it on really slow speeds, 2G or Edge. [China Mobile's] 3G network isn't actually support by iPhone. However, they have been given licenses for the 4G and that will be supported but that's going to take some time."
While this may cause some questions about margins, notes Sanchez, Apple's margins have been improving. That should improve Apple's valuations, but not immediately. "I don't think that it will be as quickly as maybe some people would like," says Sanchez.
CNBC contributor Andrew Busch, editor and publisher of The Busch Update, thinks the stock is in the middle of a what he describes as "a pretty strong uptrend", with $580 per share on the upside and $520 on the downside. As of mid-Monday trading, Apple's shares were around $568.
"It's smack dab in the middle of its uptrend channel which means it could fluctuate either way," says Busch. "You could get stopped out if you buy it and still be in the uptrend channel. So, I'm kind of on a hold right now as far as Apple goes."
To see the rest of Sanchez's fundamental analysis and Busch's charts on Apple, watch the video above.
More from Talking Numbers: