Apple has expressed full support for China Mobile’s TD-LTE standard, and the outcome of negotiations between the two could be an iPhone tie-up.
A China Daily report said China Mobile had been negotiating with Apple for the past two years, regarding the possibility of developing a version of the iPhone that supports TD-SCDMA. Talks were rumored to be less than fruitful due to the carrier’s supposed aversion to app stores.
“Right now the situation is moving forward. Apple has made it clear they will support TD-LTE,” said China Mobile chairman Wang Jianzhou in Davos, Switzerland. “We hope that when they develop the next generation models, since Apple can create CDMA, they can also consider developing TD-SCDMA.”
Wang’s statement follows recent news of Apple’s intention to build a CDMA version of the iPhone – which could possibly come to CDMA carrier China Telecom.
Apple has strong incentive to affiliate itself with China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier by subscriber base. Despite the iPhone’s success across other parts of the world, Apple’s presence in China’s app store landscape remains woefully small compared to Nokia, Samsung and operator offerings. A report from iResearch showed Apple’s app store held just 9.4% market share in China, while Nokia’s Ovi store laid claim to 65.2%.
Apple’s iPhone is currently available in China exclusively through GSM operator China Unicom, the nation's second-largest carrier.