China Mobile announced its earnings for the first half of 2011 today and revealed that its executives have met with Steve Jobs to talk about bringing the iPhone to China's largest wireless carrier.
The possibility of a China Mobile iPhone has kicked around since 2008, but these rumors recently picked up their pace. Over the past few months, several China Mobile representatives have hinted that the wireless carrier is close to bringing the iPhone, either as a TD-SCDMA or TD-LTE handset, to its almost 650 million customers. Even acting-CEO Tim Cook supposedly visited China Mobile's headquarters in June.
The sole provider of the iPhone in China is #2 carrier China Unicom. China Mobile does not offer the iPhone because its wireless network runs on the TD-SCDMA standard which is not supported by current iPhone hardware. China Mobile's untapped reservoir of 650 million customers and Apple's explosive growth in the region may be enough incentive for the handset maker to broaden its iPhone portfolio to include a flavor of the iPhone compatible for China Mobile.