Apple may soon allow China Mobile to distribute the iPhone, a deal that could give Apple a bigger share of China’s mobile phone market, but one that means Apple would have to develop an iPhone specifically for China Mobile, which operates a 3G network incompatible with current models of the iPhone, or make iPhone buyers use the carrier’s slower 2G network, according to “Computerworld” (http://macte.ch/ay3R4).
China Mobile is the country’s biggest network operator, with more than 600 million customers. Apple’s current Chinese partner network, China Unicom, has around 183 million customers.
“Computerworld” says China Mobile has been talking with Apple about reselling the iPhone for some time. However, C.K. Lu, an analyst with research firm Gartner, thinks the chances of Apple designing an iPhone for use on China Mobile’s TD-SCDMA network is slim
“I don’t think Apple will want to use this immature technology,” he told “Computerworld.” “Unless China Mobile can make a deal with Apple that gives them a lot of money, I think it would be hard to see this phone come out soon.”