China Mobile in talks to carry iPhone since 2009, but outlook still uncertain
Despite some reports circulating earlier this year, users of the world's largest cellular network don't appear any closer to seeing the iPhone as a handset choice. Speaking to attendees of its Worldwide Developers Conference, China Mobile president Li Yue confirmed that the company, which has more than 700 million subscribers, has been in talks with Apple to carry the iPhone since 2009. However, in addition to technology hurdles, Yue cited "mainly the issue of business model and mutual benefits" as the chief sticking points in negotiations.
China Mobile uses a wireless standard called TD-SCDMA that is incompatible with current iPhone hardware. There had been some speculation that the iPhone 5 would feature support for TD-SCDMA, but it was disproven when the handset was unveiled in September. Yue remarked at the China Mobile WDC that his company's talks with Apple have become "more intimate" in the past year, so perhaps there's hope for the next-generation iPhone?
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