Apple might not have announced a China Mobile deal at its recent Beijing iPhone event, but that doesn’t mean one isn’t presently in the works. In fact, as The Wall Street Journal explains, the Cupertino, Calif. company’s iPhone was recently granted a license for China Mobile’s wireless standard, in a move which suggests that a deal between Apple and China’s largest carrier could soon be announced.
Along with China Mobile, licenses for China’s two other major carriers, China Unicom and China Telecom, were also granted. As The Wall Street Journal explains:
A Chinese regulator has given the final license necessary for Apple Inc.’s iPhone to run on China Mobile Ltd.’s mobile network, another indication China’s largest carrier will soon be releasing an iPhone for the first time.
The regulator also announced licenses for the iPhone on technology supported by China’s other two major carriers, China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. and China Telecom Corp., marking the first time in China that all three major carriers will be able to offer the iPhone on their disparate networks.
If Apple is indeed able to sign off on a deal with China Mobile, the implications would be huge. China is the largest smartphone market, and with 700 million customers, China Mobile is the country’s largest carrier.
To put that figure in perspective, China Mobile has seven times more customers than U.S. carrier Verizon.
In the past, vendors have started selling handsets within weeks of them gaining approval in this way, and as such a China Mobile-powered iPhone 5c or iPhone 5s could be available in the near future. As we explained earlier, the handset is already known to support the carrier’s TD-LTE wireless band.
We’ll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.
In the meantime, see: Apple To Update Its Apple TV With Impressive AirPlay Feature On Sept. 18, How To Install iOS 7′s Impressive Wallpapers On Your iDevice Right Now, and Apple’s iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c To Launch With Japan’s NTT DoCoMo.