Apple reportedly near shipping iPhones to China Mobile

If you believe the rumors, Apple has been in discussions to bring the iPhone to China Mobile almost since day one. Those seemingly endless negotiations may have drawn to a close: the Wall Street Journal now claims that Apple is near shipping at least the iPhone 5C to the giant Asian carrier. There's no word on ship dates or what kind of deal (if any) is in place, although imminent shipments would suggest that there's some kind of official arrangement. Neither side has commented on the rumor; we wouldn't necessarily expect a mention of China Mobile at the iPhone launch event next week. When Apple is reportedly launching the iPhone on other holdout carriers this year, however, an expansion to the world's largest cellular provider only makes sense.

Update: Bloomberg hears that Apple is "close to a deal" with China Mobile, but that there won't be an announcement at the September 10th event in Cupertino.