China Mobile has been quick to talk about the iPhone to the media, but its internal talks with Apple are apparently not as fast and furious. According to a report from AllThingsD, China Mobile and Apple are "firmly engaged" in a discussion about the iPhone, but technology concerns and money squabbles are slowing things down.
Unlike most wireless carriers which are falling over themselves to get the iPhone, China Mobile is doing the opposite and supposedly pushing Apple to give it a piece of the App Store revenue. Giving a carrier a cut of this lucrative business is something Apple has never done before and likely doesn't want to do, but China Mobile may believe it's in a good position to make this request.
Everyone, including China Mobile, knows that Apple wants to expand further into the Asian market and China Mobile may be using its large subscriber base to squeeze this extra money out of Apple. China Mobile may also feel it doesn't need the iPhone right now. The wireless carrier confirmed it already has 10 million iPhones on its network and is apparently happy with that number.
Apple may be likewise reluctant to ink a deal as it may need more time to develop the TD-LTE technology that's compatible with the carrier's network. Most likely, Apple and China Mobile will be ready to sign on the dotted line sometime next year when Apple introduces its LTE-based successor to the iPhone 4S.