Future iPhone will support China Mobile's 4G network

China Mobile has been in talks with Apple about delivering an iPhone device since 2007

Future versions of Apple's iPhone will support China Mobile's fourth generation (4G) network, China's largest mobile carrier said, a sign that it will eventually offer the iconic device to its 600 million customers.

China Mobile's chairman Wang Jianzhou reported the development on Thursday, according to a company spokeswoman. Both Apple and the carrier have reached a consensus on the development of Long-Term Evolution (LTE), a 4G technology that can allow mobile phones to exchange data at much faster rates. When Apple releases iPhones built for 4G networks, the devices will also support China Mobile's version of this technology known as LTE TDD (Time-Division Duplex), Wang said.

China Mobile has been in discussions with Apple since 2007 about selling its iPhone product, but the companies have yet to reach agreement. Part of those discussions have revolved around China Mobile's third-generation technology known as TD-SCDMA (Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access). If Apple were to sell an iPhone for use on China Mobile's network, the company would have to rebuild the devices so that they could work using the carrier's TD-SCDMA 3G network.

The lack of an official iPhone in China's Mobile smartphone offerings has given its rival China Unicom an edge in the market, according to analysts. Currently China Unicom, which has 174 million mobile subscribers, is the only carrier in the country to officially sell Apple's iPhone.

Apple could not be reached for immediate comment. In the past, the company has said China, including Hong Kong and Taiwan, is Apple's fastest growing market for its iPhone devices. But there has been no official word on when a 4G iPhone will arrive.

China has already begun large-scale trials of its 4G LTE TDD technology. The research and development of commercial equipment for the new networks will be completed in 2012. But it's unclear when the networks will be available for actual commercial use.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags China Unicomtelecommunicationconsumer electronics3gCarrierschina mobilesmartphonesiPhonePhonesApple

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?