“Apple Inc. is getting closer to offering the iPhone through China’s largest mobile carrier, state-owned China Mobile Ltd., further opening a vast market that could be the next growth catalyst for the technology giant,” Loretta Chao and Yukari Iwatani Kane report for The Wall Street Journal.
“Apple’s acting day-to-day head and chief operating officer, Tim Cook, last month visited China Mobile’s offices in Beijing,” Chao and Kane report. “Both companies declined to comment on Mr. Cook’s rare visit, but the carrier confirmed the two companies are in talks about the iPhone.”
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Chao and Kane report, “The iPhone has been available in China through the country’s second largest carrier, China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd., since 2009, and Apple has created a Chinese version of its App Store. But China Mobile, also the world’s largest carrier, has 600 million subscriber accounts, compared with less than 200 million at China Unicom.”
MacDailyNews Note: For perspective, as os Q1 2011, Verizon Wireless has 104 million subscribers and AT&T Mobility has 97.5 million subscribers in the U.S.
Chao and Kane report, “The iPhone is likely to be offered through China Mobile in the next 12 months, analysts said. The timing partly depends on whether Apple decides to offer the device for the carrier’s homegrown technology standard, TD-SCDMA, or wait until the carrier rolls out a fourth-generation network called TD-LTE, which China Mobile has been testing in select cities.”
Read more in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]