updated 11:25 am EDT, Wed May 12, 2010
Chinese carrier limited by local technology
China Mobile is interested in selling the iPad, says the CEO of the carrier, Wang Jianzhou. Reuters notes that the executive spoke today at an annual shareholder's meeting, where he also claimed that the company is talking with Apple about developing a TD-SCDMA-capable iPhone, presumably a fourth-generation model. TD-SCDMA is not used outside of China, however, and so a separate iPhone design with a different 3G chipset would be needed.
The same problem applies to the iPad 3G, which like the iPhone is based on the global HSPA 3G standard. China Mobile is, therefore, unlikely to sell either the iPhone or the iPad in the foreseeable future, unless it opts for Wi-Fi-only iPad models. China Unicom is a more probable candidate for new devices, as it is already selling an HSPA iPhone and still growing its market.
Japanese iPad buyers have meanwhile been spotted lining up outside of Apple Stores, even though they can only pre-order the tablet at the moment. It is common to have to show up in person for mobile pre-orders in the country, and so the lines may represent an accurate picture of local interest. The iPad is also being sold by Softbank, the region's exclusive carrier.