“By now, many people around the world know China Mobile Ltd. as the world’s largest mobile carrier that doesn’t sell Apple Inc.’s iPhones,” Juro Osawa reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“A big question everyone is asking is when Apple will reach an agreement with China Mobile, which has more than 700 million subscribers in the country, so the U.S. company can gain access to a massive pool of potential iPhone users in the world’s biggest smartphone market,” Osawa reports. “That question of course came up, more than once, during China Mobile’s press conference in Hong Kong Thursday, after the company reported its earnings for the first half.”

Osawa reports, “China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua said that the company is still in a ‘deliberation process’ with Apple about the possibility of selling the iPhone, even though the talks are progressing. ‘Both parties are working very hard,’ he said. The company has repeatedly said that it is in talks with Apple about an iPhone deal… A more affordable iPhone, along with a deal with China Mobile, could attract a larger population of Chinese consumers. But as you would expect, Mr. Xi didn’t give any time frame during the press conference. ‘We will make an announcement when we sign a contract,’ he said.”

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