China Mobile, the largest mobile phone operator, said today that it is still interested to hosting the iPhone. The companies aren’t in official negotiations China Mobile said, but it would like to bring Apple’s iPhone to the mainland. Talks between China Mobile and Apple broke down last January. It was rumored that China Mobile was unhappy with revenue sharing numbers.
“We have not yet officially begun talks with Apple over the iPhone problem,” China Mobile Chief Executive Wang Jianzhou told reporters on the sidelines of an annual parliament advisory body meeting
“As long as our customers want this kind of product, we will keep all options open,” said Wang
China Mobile has over 350 million subscribers, which is greater than the population of the United States. When the news broke that Apple was negotiating with China Mobile last year, Apple’s stock climbed over 10%.
Before the iPhone invades mainland China, some technical and cultural problems need to be resolved. The iPhone sells for $500 in the United States, which is double the average monthly salary in China. There are content and fee issues unique to China, including Apple’s revenue-sharing agreement that China Mobile finds hard to accept.