“The stars may be aligning for a long-awaited deal between Apple Inc and China Mobile Ltd, the world’s biggest mobile carrier, that could help the iPhone maker claw back lost ground in its most important growth market,” Lee Chyen Yee and Yimou Lee report for Reuters.

“Apple is expected to unveil its redesigned iPhone next month and may also release a cheaper, emerging market smartphone. Crucially, it also now has Qualcomm Inc chips that can operate even on China’s obscure networks,” Lee and Lee report. “At the same time, Beijing is expected to grant 4G licences by the year-end that favour the biggest of its domestic mobile operators.”

Lee and Lee report, “While the 4G licences are expected to be based on TD-LTE technology, rather than the more widely-used FDD-LTE, the new Qualcomm chips can handle both systems, saving Apple from a major re-design just for the Chinese market, albeit the world’s largest.”

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