Apple Holds Fresh Talks with China Mobile on iPhone Deal

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Apple CEO Tim Cook has held a meeting with China Mobile's Chairman Xi Guohua to discuss cooperation between the two companies a China Mobile spokesman has confirmed.

China Mobile is currently the only mobile network in the country not able to offer Apple's iPhone due to incompatibility with its 3G network, although it claims around 10 million of them are being used on its network for voice calls.

"In the morning, Apple's CEO Tim Cook visited China Mobile's headquarters. China Mobile's Chairman Xi Guohua and Tim Cook discussed matters of cooperation," said Li Jun, a China Mobile spokesman said in a statement to the Reuters news agency.

Just last month, China Mobile'c President, Yue Li said that the delay is now more due to business issues and the technical problems making the smartphone work on its unique TD-SCDMA based 3G network.

Although he did not elaborate on the problems at the time, it has been suggested that they boil down to Apple's usual demand for higher network subsidies, which China Mobile usually avoids, and the mobile network's own usual demand for a share of mobile content revenues. Apple has never shared its revenues with other networks.

Apple can expect to come under increasing pressure to secure a deal with China Mobile though in order to stem the continued rise of Samsung, which does sell its smartphones through the carrier's retail outlets.

China Mobile has over 700 million customers, of which around 80 million are using its 3G network, making the carrier a lucrative market for Apple, if the two companies can secure an agreement.

Tim Cook is in Beijing meeting with government officials and partners.

On the web: Reuters

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