Apple Currently Negotiating with China Mobile as Second Provider for Chinese Marketplace

Only two weeks after signing a deal with wireless carrier China Unicom, Apple is back in talks with rival carrier China Mobile to also offer the iPhone to the Chinese marketplace. Per the Wall Street Journal, China Mobile Chairman Wang Jianzhou confirmed that his company is in talks with Apple to offer the iPhone. Unlike in some countries, like the United States, where carrier agreements tend to be exclusive, the deal with China Unicom is nonexclusive.

Such an arrangement leaves Apple open to negotiate with as many carriers as it desires in the Chinese marketplace.

China Mobile, China’s No.1 carrier, currently has 141 million subscribers, more than triple the subscribers of No. 2 carrier China Unicom. Obviously, getting the iPhone into the hands of China Mobile customers would have great economic and market-share benefits for Apple.

Even if Apple does go with China Mobile, it would need to make some changes to the iPhone in order for it to work on China Mobile’s TD-SCDMA wireless platform. The other option is to leave the iPhone as is and let it run on the carrier’s slower 2G platform.

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