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Thursday, November 18, 2010, 12:30 pm PT (03:30 pm ET)

Apple shows interest in Verizon LTE 4G, deal with China Mobile

Verizon's Chief Executive said Apple's interest in his carrier's forthcoming long-term evolution 4G network helped to forge a deal to sell the iPad. Also, a new report claims Apple has entered into some type of agreement with China Mobile, the largest wireless carrier in the world.

Verizon CEO says Apple interested in LTE

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Verizon Chief Executive Ivan Seidenberg said his company's building of a 4G network caught the interest of Apple. It was those talks that led to the iPad being sold through Verizon when bundled with a MiFi mobile hotspot.

"Mr. Seidenberg said his embrace of LTE has drawn the interest of Apple Inc., and helped Verizon get the iPad," the report said. But he didn't comment on when Verizon might get the iPhone."

Unsurprisingly, Seidenberg declined to confirm whether the iPhone is coming to his network. Numerous mainstream media outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Fortune, have independently reported that a CDMA iPhone will become available for Verizon customers in early 2011.

"If the iPhone comes to us, it's because Apple thinks it's time," he said. "Our interests are beginning to come together more but they have to take steps to align their technology with ours."

Apple reaches agreement with China Mobile - report

On Thursday the Chengdu Chinese Commercial News reported that China Mobile has entered into a "cooperation agreement" with Apple. Analyst Brian White with Ticonderoga Securities issued a note to investors in which he noted the news.

White noted that the language noting a "cooperation agreement" is vague, but he added that any relationship with China Mobile is an incremental positive for Apple's business.

China Mobile has more than 570 million mobile subscribers. It has reportedly been in talks with Apple to support the iPhone for some time, though a deal has not come to be.

Last week, The Wall Street Journal noted that China Mobile had set up a new website in which it helps users trim their SIM card to fit inside the iPhone 4, which requires a microSIM. The carrier said it was "working hard" to make microSIM cards, and would have them available in its stores soon.