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Apple reportedly strikes deal to launch iPhone on China Mobile later this month (update: or not)

That was quick -- just hours after China Mobile granted its first 4G licenses, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has reached a deal to launch the iPhone on the giant carrier. China Mobile would stock hardware later in December, likely starting with the recently approved iPhone 5s and 5c variants for the country. Neither side has confirmed the deal just yet. If real, though, it could help Apple recover some lost smartphone market share in the region. With over 700 million subscribers, China Mobile has a large volume of potential customers.

Update: Ruh roh. China Mobile told Reuters that it is actually "still negotiating with Apple." But hey, it's just a matter of time, right?