"Apple has its own problems to deal with and has many things to develop, and currently TD development is not on its timetable," he said. "Apple has been clear that it will support TD-LTE ... These two years we have been discussing the issue. The situation is currently moving forward step by step."
If Apple has indeed thrown its support behind TD-LTE, it would be a significant boost for China Mobile as it could prompt other handset makers to follow Apple's lead.
Up until now, China Unicom has been the only carrier to officially carry the iPhone. China Mobile has taken some dubious measures to keep customers from jumping on
the unicorn Unicom, including providing online instructions (Chinese) for how to activate an iPhone on China Mobile's network, as well as providing SIM card cutting services at many of the company's outlets.
Of course, there's much to gain from Apple's point of view as well. The company's recent earnings call showed significant growth in China and the rest of Asia, and Tim Cook indicated that the company would focus more resources there.