by Joe White
December 3, 2013
Apple's iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c could be set to launch with China Mobile on Dec. 18, according to a recent pre-registration Web page for the handsets. The news means that the Cupertino, Calif. company's new smartphones would launch with China's largest carrier on the same day as its long-anticipated TD-LTE network. In a report from the Chinese language publication C Tech a screenshot of the pre-registration Web page (pictured above) is included. The article also explains that the China Mobile Web page provides a launch date of Dec. 18 for the rumored handsets, though no information concerning price plans has been announced. China Mobile and Apple's iPhone have been locked in the rumor mill for some time now, and news concerning the potential release of such a handset, which would operate on China Mobile's TD-LTE standard, has been surfacing more frequently over the course of the last few months (serious rumors of such a handset first appeared in 2009, we might add). In October, Apple posted a job advertisement for a Beijing-based mobile expert with a knowledge of China Mobile's TD-LTE standard, and before this, China Mobile online posters (pictured below) indicated that an iPhone launch could occur in the immediate future. Our original article, published in September, explained:
The above poster, [...] advertises the maximum 100MB per second download speeds supported by the iPhone. Indeed, Apple’s handsets gained certification with China Mobile’s wireless standard not long ago, and both smartphones are known to support the network’s TD-LTE band.Meanwhile, rival carrier China Unicom saw huge interest in the iPhone 5s handset, back when it launched in September. The gold-colored smartphone seemed to be the most popular, and demand has been so great that analysts are expecting Apple's meagre share of China's smartphone market to double by 2014. This prediction, however, is also based on China Mobile offering the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. The network is the biggest carrier in the world's largest smartphone market, and with more than 740 million subscribers China Mobile is paramount to Apple's success in the country. China has already officially licensed the iPhone with China Mobile's wireless network, and both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c support the carrier's TD-LTE wireless band. The evidence indeed indicates that a China Mobile iPhone deal is in the cards. Though whether such a deal between Apple and China Mobile could see the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c launch by Dec. 18, however, remains to be seen. We'll keep you updated with further information as we receive it. In the meantime, see: Pocket Informant Pro Updated With Global Quick Event Entry And Other Features, Entertainment Weekly's Newsstand App Finally Goes Universal With iPhone Support, and You Can Now Buy iTunes Gift Cards From PayPal Through Its New Digital Gifts Store.