Reuters reports that China Mobile’s chairman Xi Guohua is positive about recent negotiations with Apple, as Mr Xi told Reuters that “both sides sounded keen” during recent talks aimed at the carrier finally offering the iPhone maker’s popular handsets.
Of the three Chinese carriers, China Mobile is the only one to utilize TD-SCDMA technology, a standard developed by the company and not supported by any current iPhone model. The carrier has also been reluctant to commit to the huge cost of marketing and handset subsidies associated with the iPhone. But new chips from Qualcomm now give Apple an opportunity to support China Mobile’s network in its upcoming hardware.
It is widely expected that Apple will unveil a budget model of its iPhone, alongside a new flagship model next month. Apple now has Qualcomm chips that can operate on obscure networks such as China Mobile’s. Beijing is also expected to grant 4G licenses by year’s end that favors China Mobile.
Both sides have been reluctant in the past to make a deal. Apple has avoided a deal with China Mobile, as it would have required changes to its iPhone lineup in order to work on the carriers TD-SCDMA 3G technology, while the carrier has been reluctant to commit to the admittedly huge cost of marketing and subsidizing Apple’s popular device.
Recently, well-sourced analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, iMore editor in chief Rene Ritchie, 9to5Mac reporter Mark Gurman, and MG Seigler of TechCrunch have added additional weight to the idea of a gold iPhone, which is practically confirmed at this point.
The device is also expected to feature up to 128GB of storage, significant under-the-hood upgrades (including a new custom Apple A7 chip with 64-bit processing), dual-LED Flash, a larger battery, a vastly improved camera, and more. The device is expected to launch sometime this fall, with the most recent reports suggesting it will be unveiled at a September 10 media event.