China Mobile, China's biggest wireless provider, is still in discussions with Apple to carry the iPhone. There's broad speculation in the cell industry that the two companies are about to announce a deal, according to Reuters.
Xi Guohua, China Mobile's chairman, told reporters at a conference today that his company had no announcement to make today regarding Apple's products. Speculation about when Apple and China Mobile will team up has been bouncing around for months. Such a deal would open a huge new market for Apple - China Mobile's subscriber base alone is 750 million customers - more than twice the entire U.S. wireless market combined.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that the deal would happen around December 18th, when China Mobile was scheduled to launch its 4G LTE network.
Tim Cook has speculated that China may become Apple's single largest market in the future. A deal with the country of more than 1 billion people's largest wireless service provider would certainly bolster Apple's fortunes. Regardless, it's important to remember that no matter what kind of deal China Mobile strikes with Apple, the iPhone will likely only be affordable to a relatively small number of China Mobile's customers.