China Mobile to Apple: iPhone deal will cost you

The country's largest carrier reportedly says that it wants a piece of the App Store revenue pie in exchange for Apple's iPhone coming to its service.

Will the iPhone come to China Mobile?
Will the iPhone come to China Mobile? James Martin/CNET

Around the world, there is no wireless carrier more important than China Mobile. Apple knows that. The only issue is, it can't get a deal done to bring its iPhone to the carrier's service.

Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu cites industry sources who claim that China Mobile is demanding a slice of the revenue Apple generates from the App Store in exchange for bringing the iPhone to its network, according to All Things Digital. As one might expect, Apple has balked at the idea, effectively putting the companies at a deadlock.

Bringing the iPhone to China Mobile has become one of Apple's key mobile strategies. Not only have company execs touted Asia as a key growth area for Apple, but with its over 628 million wireless subscribers, China Mobile could dramatically improve Apple's financial performance.

That said, Apple has been in discussions with China Mobile for years now to no avail. Dating as far back as 2008 , the companies were in talks to bring the iPhone to the service, but China Mobile CEO Wang Jianzhou said at the time that Apple's desire for control was enough to scuttle any deal.

Earlier this year, talks resumed between China Mobile and Apple after Jianzhou said he had met with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs about bringing the iPhone to China Mobile. He said at the time that it was a "common wish of China Mobile and Apple to come to an agreement as soon as possible." So far, however, that hasn't happened.

China Mobile's latest demand comes just a couple months after Jianzhou said that he would gladly bring the iPhone to his wireless network if Apple would produce a 4G TD-LTE-compatible iPhone for its customers.

"China Mobile and Apple hope to find a solution for close collaboration," Jianzhou said in September. "We discussed this issue with Apple. We hope Apple will produce a new iPhone with TD-LTE. We have already got a positive answer from Apple."

Neither China Mobile nor Apple immediately responded to CNET's request for comment.

 

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