updated 01:30 pm EDT, Fri March 19, 2010
Carrier still attempting to seal iPhone deal
China Mobile has allegedly asked Apple to create a special version of the iPhone to support the carrier's local network technology, according to a Financial Times report. Chairman and chief executive Wang Jianzhou recently expressed hope to come to an agreement with Apple as soon as possible.
China Unicom currently offers the iPhone throughout the country, although the carrier utilizes the widespread GSM standard. China Mobile, however, chose to use the TD-SCDMA standard for 3G, which is only used for markets in China.
Jianzhou claims that "including TD-SCDMA is not that hard to do -- RIM is doing it." Industry sources, however, doubt that Apple will view RIM as a reason to cede to the carrier's request.
Although China Mobile's new subscriber updates at one time dominated the local industry, bringing in 95 percent of new customers, the company's share has suffered a significant drop in the past year. Industry sources suggest competition in the 3G market is to blame, as China Mobile is only one of three carriers to use the TD standard.
Despite Jianzhou's request, the CEO admits that Apple has yet to respond.