China Mobile is world’s largest wireless carrier. The total number of it’s subscribers mounts up to a huge 600 million, a prize which every mobile vendor wishes to seize. Apple’s iPhone is already being offered by China Unicom since 2009, a carrier with 160 million subscribers and now, Apple has also sealed a deal with China Telecom which has 117 million subscribers. But despite all this, Apple’s share in the Chinese mobile market has diminished in recent years. So it is only natural that the company is now negotiating a deal with the leading carrier in China, China Mobile.
China Mobile is no less eager to carry the much-touted iPhone devices. According to a China Mobile official, the company is “aggressively negotiating with Apple to sell the iPhone.” The main problem that is hampering the happening of such a deal, yet, is that China Mobile uses non-standard 3G wireless technology while Apple, on the other hand, has plans for a 4G-LTE network to carry iPhone devices. However, it is being expected that China Mobile will soon launch 4G TD-LTE network and that this will facilitate the finalization of a deal between the two companies.
Apple has already bagged both China Unicom and China Telecom, the second and third largest carriers in China. However, the total subscribers of both these companies added do not make even half of the total of 600 million subscribers of China Mobile. And that is precisely why Apple is so actively pursuing a deal with it.
China holds a special place for Apple because the mobile market in China has expanded very rapidly and is expected to top 1 billion this year. Apple hasn’t been able to get a breakthrough into this market so far which, analysts have said, had been outcome of iPhone’s availability with just one carrier. However, with these new developments, fortunes may change for Apple in China.