SHANGHAI, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Apple Inc (AAPL.O) fully supports China Mobile’s next generation TD-LTE technology and talks are ongoing over a possible iPhone tie up with the carrier, China Mobile’s chairman was quoted as saying.
China Mobile (0941.HK), the world’s largest carrier by subscribers, has been negotiating for years with Apple to develop an iPhone that runs on TD-SCDMA, the home-grown standard it is using for its 3G network.
“We hope that when they develop the next-generation models, since Apple can create CDMA, they can also consider developing TD-SCDMA,” China Mobile Chairman Wang Jianzhou was quoted as saying on Wednesday by the Sina Technology news portal.
“These two years we have been discussing the issue. Right now the situation is moving forward. Apple has made it clear they will support TD-LTE,” Wang said in Davos, Switzerland.
Currently, Apple’s iPhone is only available through China Unicom (0762.HK), China’s second-largest mobile carrier, which runs on the global 3G standard.
The smartphone’s exclusive availability through China Unicom has crimped sales of the device in China as China Unicom has a much smaller pool of subscribers and number portability is not allowed in the country.
China Mobile had 584 million mobile phone subscribers in December last year while China Unicom had 167.4 million. (Reporting by Melanie Lee; editing by Kazunori Takada)