If Apple were to reach agreements with carriers China Mobile and NTT DoCoMo to offer the iPhone before the end of the year, it would increase the company's addressable market by about 900 million total subscribers, providing a major boost to sales throughout 2014.
According to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, China Mobile will introduce Apple's iPhone to its 700 million subscribers by the end of the year, but the world's largest telecom first needs to finish rolling out its TDD-LTE network, a task that could delay the phone's launch until November.
Apple's current carrier partners China Unicom and China Telecom may offer the company's next-generation iPhones as soon as Sept. 20, though a launch on China Mobile is expected to come slightly later, a new rumor claims.
The news that Apple will hold its first-ever iPhone media event in China has generated expectations that the company has something big up its sleeve, such as a sooner-than-expected launch of new models in that country, or perhaps a deal with China Mobile, the world's largest carrier.
Investment firm UBS sees shares of Apple rising more than 10 percent in the near future based on the potential for a lower-cost iPhone to make a big splash in the Chinese smartphone market.
No deal has been struck between China Mobile and Apple, as the world's largest carrier revealed this week that talks between the two parties continue.
Tim Cook's trip to China included a visit with the head of the largest carrier in the world, China Mobile, as Apple's chief executive continues to work toward a potential partnership.
China Mobile will spend 41.7 billion yuan ($6.7 billion U.S.) to develop 4G technology this year in anticipation of the arrival of the world's most popular smartphone — Apple's iPhone — on the world's most populous wireless carrier.
Apple supplier Qualcomm on Thursday announced a new "global LTE" front end solution that operates on 40 bands, including all existing LTE networks, which could usher in a truly global iPhone that even supports the obscure TD-SCDMA network used by the world's largest carrier China Mobile.