updated 11:00 am EDT, Thu August 18, 2011
Near-future iPhone plans uncertain
China Mobile has met several times with Apple CEO Steve Jobs on the subject of adopting the iPhone, Reuters reports. The information emerged from executives speaking at a China Mobile press conference. The carrier already has some 7.44 million iPhone users on its network, even though the only official Chinese iPhone network is China Unicom.
China Mobile moreover uses TD-SCDMA instead of instead of a conventional 3G standard, meaning that any iPhones presently on its network are limited to 2G data. The talks with Jobs, though, are said to involve a device compatible with Mobile's platform. Whether this means TD-SCDMA and/or TD-LTE is unclear though, since the carrier has so far only acknowledged the latter.
As a result, it's not known if the next-generation iPhone will be officially available through China Mobile or if people will have to wait until 2012. Most analysts and media outlets have suggested that Apple will likely skip LTE with this year's iPhone. The company appears to be waiting for hybrid 3G/4G chipsets which consume less battery power, as well as better LTE coverage, since in the US AT&T has yet to even launch its network.