China Mobile reaches 15 million unofficial iPhone users, receives iPhones 4S fix from Apple

China Mobile reaches 15 million unofficial iPhone users, receives iPhones 4S fix from Apple

Much like T-Mobile in the US, China Mobile's 3G technology isn't compatible with Apple's iPhone, so unofficial iPhones are a strictly 2G only affair. While there are over 1 million unofficial iPhone on T-Mobile users, that's dwarfed by China Mobile's 15 million unofficial iPhone users. An unofficial number big enough, it seems, to garner a little official support from Apple. According to The People's Daily Online:

China Mobile said that Apple had updated the system of all iPhone 4S handsets manufactured after Feb. 8, 2012 to fully support its network, and will offer a software update for previously manufactured iPhone 4S handsets in early March.

The issue apparently stems from the iPhone 4S supporting the P frequency band (885-915MHZ) but not E frequency band (880-890MHz). China Mobile supports both, primarily E for indoor and P for outdoor. So if a user tried to connect while on the E band, the iPhone 4S wouldn't work.

China Mobile has 665 million subscribers, so even though it's not an official iPhone carrier today, it's a huge potential market for Apple. It'll be nice for everyone when the iPhone 4S unofficially works better on China Mobile. It will be something else entirely when a future iPhone goes official.

Source: The People's Daily via The Next Web

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

China Mobile reaches 15 million unofficial iPhone users, receives iPhones 4S fix from Apple


If China Mobile gets an Official iPhone will DOMINATE!!! The world if they have 15 million subscribers that are using it knowing that they are only getting 2g the second they receive an iPhone that fully works on there 3G plus the fact they almost have 700 million subscribers that's going to be ridiculous. The second T-Mobile gets a Official iPhone here in the states, what's stopping Apple? I'm a previous hardcore Android User for years and at one point I did have a iPhone and iPhone 3G but I was using it on T-Mobile and hated the cat and mouse game with Apple always updating the baseband and me being stupid to keep updating and losing my unlock. Now on Sprint and one of the official carriers of the iPhone 4 and 4s, going from 2 Epic 4g Touch to 2 4s I feel in love again. I still have my 3D but I use it for development and a back up.

i believe you need to rethink that last comment as of right now the Iphone 4s does not work with T-Mobiles HSPA+ with the added spectrum from the botched AT&T merger that could possibly change but at this time the Iphone 4s can be unlocked to work with T-Mobile but you will be limited to 2G speeds. T-Mobile's 3G/4G, HSPA+ or whatever you want to call it uses a frequency band that is not equipped/supported on the Iphone 4s hence why T-Mobile US and China Mobile have all these unofficial Iphone users and the whole point of this post in the first place.

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