Apple and China Mobile, the world's largest mobile operator, have reportedly broken off negotiations to launch the popular iPhone in China. The parties had reportedly been discussing a Chinese debut for the iPhone for several months, but eventually locked horns over revenue sharing and a plethora of technical difficulties.

It's not surprising that China Mobile isn't willing to go along with the sort of deal that Apple has cut with partners such as AT&T, considering it holds 70 percent of the Chinese cellular market and the fact that there's only one other company, China Unicom, that's allowed to offer cellular service in the country.

This is a blow for Apple, as it won't have access to the 370 million subscribers China Mobile can provide, but may be an opening for China Unicom. Although the carrier has fewer subscribers, it may be more willing to accept Apple's revenue sharing plan.