China Mobile has confirmed that it is in talks with Apple over bringing the iPhone officially to its network. China Mobile’s chairman Xi Guohua told its shareholders about the talks although there is still no news if a deal has been agreed.
“China Mobile and Apple both have the will to strengthen cooperation,” Xi said. “When there is more specific news, we will disclose it.”
A deal with China Mobile would be a massive bonus for Apple. As of March this year, China Mobile had 667.2 million mobile phone subscribers; which is a huge number of potential new Apple customers. It currently is the largest mobile phone carrier in the world but its current 3G technology is not supported by any 3G iPhone. If the next iPhone supports LTE as is widely expected, this could support China Mobile’s 4G bands and open the door to another giant revenue stream.