Apple is wasting little time in expanding the reach of the iPhone in China.
China Mobile Chairman Wang Jianzhou confirmed that his company is in talks with Apple to offer the iPhone, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal on Monday. Unlike in some countries, like the United States, where carrier agreements tend to be exclusive, the deal with China Unicom is nonexclusive.
This leaves Apple open to negotiate with as many carriers as it wants in that market. This is both good and bad for Apple.
China Mobile, China's No.1 carrier, has 141 million subscribers, the Journal reported. That's more than triple the subscribers of No. 2 carrier China Unicom. Obviously, getting the iPhone into the hands of China Mobile customers would have great economic and market-share benefits for Apple.
However, as the Journal points out, Apple would need to make some changes to the iPhone in order for it to work on China Mobile's TD-SCDMA wireless platform. The other option is to leave the iPhone as is and let it run on the carrier's slower 2G platform.