updated 12:45 pm EDT, Thu September 15, 2011
Expands on recurring claims
China Mobile and Apple are hoping to "find a solution for close collaboration" on TD-LTE and compatible hardware, specifically an iPhone, according to China Mobile chairman Wang Jianzhou. "We discussed this issue with Apple," Wang explained in an interview today. "We hope Apple will produce a new iPhone with TD-LTE. We have already got a positive answer from Apple."
For data China Mobile currently relies on TD-SCDMA, a native Chinese 3G standard unsupported by the iPhone and many other devices. The carrier nevertheless has some 8.5 million people using unlocked iPhones on its 2G network. While Mobile is only set to start limited trials of TD-LTE in December, a phone with the technology built in could usher in official iPhone sales with the company, and finally allow its iPhone subscribers access to fast cellular data.
Apple is expected to announce a new iPhone model next month. The company will likely skip support for LTE this year, however, as it waits for hybrid 3G/4G chipsets. There is also the question of network access, since even US carrier AT&T is only launching its LTE service on September 18th. Verizon has had an LTE option for some time, but is still in the process of expanding coverage.