When Tim Cook made his trip to China, he took time to meet with the head of the largest wireless carrier in the world, China Mobile. The two sides met to discuss “matters of cooperation,” but no other details were provided.
The meeting between Cook and China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua took place in Beijing, and was confirmed by the carrier to Reuters. […] Industry watchers have been awaiting a potential deal between Apple and China Mobile for some time. Cook most recently met with China Mobile in January, but the carrier still has yet to offer the iPhone.
Currently China Unicom and China Telecom both carry the iPhone in China. It is reported that China Mobile had as many as 15 million unofficial iPhone users on its network as of March 2012.
While China Mobile has 715 million subscribers, only about 13% of those are on high-speed 3G networks. The carrier is currently investing $6.7 billion to build out its 4G technology. It has been speculated that by using Qualcomm’s latest LTE chips in its next iPhone, Apple would be able to offer true global high-speed data support for carriers like China Mobile.