HONG KONG Aug 15 China Mobile Ltd, the world's biggest mobile carrier by subscribers, said its talks with Apple Inc have been progressing smoothly and both sides are positive about reaching a possible agreement, Chairman Xi Guohua said on Thursday.
"Both sides sounded keen (during recent talks)," Xi told a news conference after announcing the company's first-half results.
With Apple expected to unveil its next iPhone next month and China Mobile expected to get a 4G licence this year, the time appears ripe for the two giants to finalise a deal, analysts said.
During the conference, CFO Xue Taohai also said the carrier spent 14.2 billion yuan ($2.32 billion) in handset subsidies in the first half, up 2.2 billion yuan from the same period a year ago.
($1 = 6.1196 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Yimou Lee and Lee Chyen Yee; Editing by Matt Driskill)