As speculated just yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook has reportedly held meetings with the head of the worlds largest carrier, China Mobile. China is a huge market for Apple despite declining sales, but as yet China Mobile customers do not have any direct route to the iPhone via the carrier. According to Reuters, this was definitely a matter on the table:
The meeting with China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua in Beijing was to discuss matters of cooperation, the Chinese firm told Reuters in an emailed statement. It gave no further details.
Matters of cooperation doesn't necessarily mean the next iPhone will appear on China Mobile, but it is nevertheless encouraging to see the two companies coming together to perhaps discuss a long awaited deal. And, despite being the worlds largest carrier, the vast majority of their customers don't even use 3G at the moment. The iPhone and the impending 4G licences to be distributed by the government could go a long way to changing that.
We'll have to sit it out and see where things may progress in the future, but it's clear that China is important to Apple, and China Mobile could be the final piece in the jigsaw.