Reuters reported that China Mobile, the world’s biggest telecom carrier by subscribers, is negotiating with Apple Inc to carry the popular iPhone in China. “China Mobile is the only Chinese operator that does not officially carry the iPhone because its homegrown 3G technology is not supported by the chips used in current iPhone models. Analysts have said next-generation iPhones will likely use a Qualcomm Inc chip that would support China Mobile’s network, removing the key technology barrier for a deal“.
The iPhone is currently available on China Telecom and China Unicom in China. As Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has stated time-and-time again during annual earnings calls with investors, China is a very key emerging market for the company. According to Cook last month, the company gained a ton of sales from the pent-up demand for the iPhone 4S last quarter. [9to5mac]
China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua also said China Mobile is trying to expand its services outside mainland China by offering 4G services in Hong Kong this year and is hoping to provide mobile service between the United States and China.