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China Mobile claims Apple will make an iPhone supporting TD-LTE

iPhone 4S press shot
iPhone 4S press shot

In the latest iPhone / China Mobile news, chairman Wang Jianzhou claims his network is in discussions with Apple to provide an iPhone compatible with China Mobile's unique 3G bands — and that it also will include LTE. According to a Reuters report, this next-generation iPhone will be compatible with China Mobile's TD-LTE standard. Wang also continues to talk up demand for the iPhone on China Mobile, claiming his network is home to 10 million iPhone users, up from 7.44 million in August despite the lack of compatible 3G networks.

An iPhone on China Mobile would make a lot of sense for both Apple and the carrier, given that China Mobile is currently the world's largest carrier with over 600 million subscribers. But, China Mobile's unique TD-SCDMA network is hurting the carrier in terms of 3G adoption. Only about 7% of its subscribers use 3G services, and Apple has yet to build an iPhone supporting this standard, despite the huge market opportunity and repeated rumors and claims from Wang that Apple and China Mobile are close to making a deal.