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How China Mobile Could Get the iPhone (Update 1)

Last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook and China Mobile's Chairman Xi Guohua met to discuss "matters of cooperation." This was taken as big news, given that China Mobile has more than 700 million users, and more than 10% of those users have 3G access, or data plans.

Apple has long said that China is incredibly important to its future, and brought the iPhone 5 to the country in mid-December. The latest iPhone was very well received, with Apple announcing it sold 2 million iPhone 5s in its first weekend in the country.

AAPL Chart AAPL data by YCharts

In its most recent quarter, Apple noted that revenue from Greater China (which includes China, Hong Kong and Taiwan) was $6.83 billion. That equalled 67% year-over-year growth, despite only having the iPhone and the new iPad in the country for the last two weeks of the quarter.

Qualcomm's new global LTE chipset only adds further credence to the story that the iPhone may in fact be closer to its China Mobile arrival than many think. By bringing the iPhone 5 to China Mobile, it would be a huge coup for Apple - one that will help turn the tide against Samsung, ZTE and other handset makers firmly entrenched in China.

Apple could not be immediately reached for comment for this story.

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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