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Apple in iPhone talks with China Mobile

Chairman of world's largest carrier confirms negotiations in address to company's shareholders but declines to disclose more.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Steven Musil
Is Apple's iPhone 4S about to dial up a larger user base in China? Apple

Apple is in talks with China Mobile about the world's largest mobile carrier possibly offering the iPhone to its customers, the company's chairman told shareholders today.

"China Mobile and Apple both have the will to strengthen cooperation," Chairman Xi Guohua said, according to Bloomberg. "When there is more specific news, we will disclose it."

CNET has contacted Apple for comment, and we will update this report when we learn more.

During a visit to China in March, Apple CEO Tim Cook was reportedly spotted at the Beijing offices of China Mobile, whose 667 million customers are seen as key to wider adoption of Apple's smartphone.

Apple has long been rumored to be in talks with China carriers to expand its device's reach in that country. China Telecom began selling the iPhone 4S in March, ending China Unicom's three-year run as the exclusive seller of iPhones in China.

Apple began selling the iPhone 4S in China in January, drawing massive crowds there and sparking a small riot in Beijing after the company announced it would not be selling the device on its pre-announced launch.

In a call with analysts in January, Cook said "we thought we were betting bold," about initial sales of the iPhone 4S there, but that "we didn't bet high enough."

See also: CNET's review of the Apple iPhone 4S

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