At yesterday's Apple event, many expected the company to announce the first details regarding a partnership with China Mobile, the world's largest mobile provider. Reports are now saying that Apple is indeed in talks with the Chinese mobile provider regarding selling the company's devices to the carrier's 700 million untapped customers.
A report from the Wall Street Journal says that China’s Telecom Equipment Certification Center has signed off on an iPhone that will be allowed to run on China Mobile's network. The carrier's TD-LTE bands (38,39 and 40) that are being implemented in its new 4th gen network, are supposedly supported by certain models of Apple's new iPhones. While none of the details have been officially confirmed, it appears the long expected play on the carrier is moving forward.
Another interesting point here is that China Mobile will require new devices to support TD-LTE band 41 by 2014. Currently Apple does not have a device that supports this, so some are expecting a third new iPhone designed specifically for the region.
On the other hand, keep in mind that Sprint already makes use of band 41, a company that just last year entered a long term, $15.5 billion deal with Apple, showing its dedication to the ongoing success of the iPhone.
While Apple has been able to strike up deals with smaller Chinese carriers in the past like China Unicom and China Telecom, China Mobile has always denied Apple's specific contract requirements. Just last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook was reportedly in negotiations with China Mobile execs in Beijing.