After talks broke down earlier this year between Apple and China Mobile over the (non-pirated) introduction of the iPhone, Apple's concession to non-U.S. carriers that they don't need to share revenue has apparently restored progress with the world's largest carrier.
This comes as China's government reports mobile accounts are nearing the 600 million mark. China Mobile alone has more than 400 million accounts. These numbers don't mean there are that many people with cell phones, however. I and many others have multiple SIM cards. I use one for visiting friends, but others use second cards, which can be purchased for under 10 USD, to keep various types of calls separate.
China Mobile said Friday the main obstacle keeping iPhone out of the world's largest mobile phone market had been cleared now that Apple has dropped its revenue-sharing demands.
Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said this week he would like to see the device introduced in China later this year, and a senior China mobile executive confirmed the two companies were back in talks.
"We've broken through the biggest obstacle and we are negotiating at the working level," Gao Songge, deputy director of China Mobile's general department, told AFP.
Now if only the U.S. iPhone would allow choice of carrier...