Apple revealed Tuesday that its Greater China regional revenue saw a six-fold increase year over year to $3.8 billion, even while company executives admitted that they are barely "scratching the surface" of the Chinese market.
Recent reports that China Telecom will begin offering the iPhone by the end of the year have prompted investment firms to crunch the numbers on the deal's potential revenue opportunity, with one analyst arriving at a figure of $9 billion.
A photo purportedly showing an iPhone prototype running on China Mobile's current 3G TD-SCDMA network is being singled out Thursday as the latest piece of evidence to suggest Apple is nearing a "watershed" agreement to bring the touchscreen handset to the world's largest mobile carrier as early as September.
With rumors and evidence of an agreement between China Mobile and Apple continuing to grow, one Wall Street analyst believes the growth of mobile Internet in the nation of over 1 billion "opens up a whole new world" for the iPhone.
China Mobile revealed Thursday that it had reached an agreement with Apple to eventually support the carrier's fourth-generation TD-LTE data network, though it was unable to provide details on when exactly a 4G iPhone will arrive.
Apple had originally planned a 2011 release for an LTE-capable iPhone, but has pushed back its timeline for the device because of production constraints, according to a new report out of the Far East. Meanwhile, sources indicate that China Mobile will likely begin selling Apple's next-generation iPhone later this year.
A new survey shows that Apple is poised to capitalize on an explosion in sales of 3G smartphones in China, with the iPhone the most popular option, though lower prices could give it the lion's share of sales.
With Monday's release of iOS 4.2.6 for the Verizon CDMA iPhone, one hacker claims to have confirmation that Apple went with Qualcomm for the CDMA baseband. Also, Netgear CEO Patrick Lo has apologized for comments he made about Steve Jobs, and Apple job listings reveal that the iPhone maker continues to look for engineers with LTE experience, possibly in preparation for a 4G LTE iPhone.
The chairman of carrier China Mobile said on Wednesday that Apple has "made it clear" that the company intends to support high-speed long-term evolution 4G wireless technology in a future update to the iPhone.
Chinese government regulators have rebuked China Unicom for its new guidelines restricting contracts for Apple's iPhone 4. The guidelines were instituted Wednesday in order to curb rampant scalping of both the iPhone and prepaid microSIM cards.
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.
Apple is attempting to block scalpers by instituting new restrictions preventing walk-in sales of the iPhone at Apple Stores in China. Customers must first reserve an iPhone on Apple's website before visiting an Apple Retail Store to complete the purchase.