According to recent reports, it would seem that the world’s largest mobile network, China Mobile, is in talks with Apple in order to bring the in-demand iPhone to its customers.
The primary reason as to why China Mobile doesn’t currently stock any iPhone products is due to the fact that there have been compatibility issues with the iPhone and the company’s 3G network – At the moment, the iPhone will only work on the much slower and older 2G infrastructure. The compatibility issue stems from the mobile network being set the challenge by the Chinese government to create the country’s own 3G standard, instead of the globally recognised standard for 3G connectivity.
However, it’s quite possible that the problem could be resolved when Apple unveils the next version of the iPhone (hopefully later this year) and China Mobile upgrades its infrastructure to 4G standards.
As mentioned, China Mobile is the world’s biggest mobile network with around 660 million customers and is the only network in the country that is not currently selling the iPhone. However, it’s thought that around 15 million of its customers are using iPhones which are connected using the slower 2G technology. Over the last couple of years though, China Mobile has invested heavily in Wi-Fi hotspots to try and offer customers with iPhones faster data speeds when on the move.
Reports suggest that Apple and China Mobile may have been in talks for years about bringing the iPhone to the network. The likelihood of it actually happening now seems to be more realistic, mainly because it’s expected that the next iPhone will feature the new LTE (Long Term Evolution) standard – something that is currently seeing a trial deployment, and hopefully will be approved soon by the Chinese government.
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