It was recently revealed by China Mobile that the company was in ongoing negotiations with Apple to bring the iPhone to its network. Reuters reported that chairman Xi Guohua said that the company is “actively talking to Apple” to shareholders during the company meeting.
Guohua added that he couldn’t “give you too many details, but he’d like to repeat that both sides do hope to boost their cooperation.”
For those who are not aware, China Mobile had 667 million subscribers as of March 2012. Currently, it is the only carrier in China that does not sell the Apple handset. Demand for the iPhone on China Mobile is expected to be quite high. As of now, despite the lack of official sales of the device, the company has more than 15 million iPhone users on its network. Rival China Unicom was Apple’s first carrier partner in the country and the second-place operator overall. Sales were slow to start but the company said in March that its partnership with Apple was now producing “better than expected results.” An analyst went as far as predicting that China Unicom could possibly sell 24 million iPhones in 2013.
Even without China Mobile, Apple seems to be gaining ground as iPhone sales are increasing as a whole throughout the greater transition.
Analysts are speculating that Apple could possibly wait until its next-generation iPhone to sign with China Mobile as signing with new carriers tends to happen during event announcements.