China Mobile has been upfront about its plans for 4G LTE and its desire to have the iPhone on its wireless network. According to Bloomberg, China Mobile Chairman Wang Jianzhou confirmed the wireless carrier has been in talks with Apple about a 4G LTE handset and has received a positive answer. Apple has a compelling reason to get the iPhone on China Mobile - with over 600 million subscribers, it's the world's largest wireless carrier.
Though he is sparse on details, Jianzhou's statement fits in with Apple's projected plans. There's little doubt Apple has an LTE handset in its product roadmap. The Cupertino company has expressed an interest in LTE, but the size of the current 4G radios require a re-design of the iconic handset. At this point, Apple is not willing to make these design changes and will wait until the second generation radios debut.
Current rumors suggest Apple will release the 3G-enabled iPhone 5 this year and a 4G version in 2012. Hopefully, a launch next year would give Apple ample time to develop an LTE handset for both China and the US.