China Mobile chairman: No iPhone for us -- yet

Despite reports that the iPhone would finally debut on China's largest wireless carrier, a company executive says a deal with Apple still hasn't been finalized.

Don Reisinger
Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

China Mobile and Apple were supposed to make their relationship official on Wednesday, several recent reports suggested, but that never materialized. Now, there's no word on when the iPhone might arrive at China's largest wireless carrier.

Speaking to reporters in China on Wednesday, China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua said that his company has no announcement just yet on a deal that will see it sell the iPhone to its more than 750 million customers. Xi said that China Mobile and Apple are holding partnership talks but nothing has been finalized, according to Reuters, which was in China during Xi's remarks.

China Mobile held a press conference Wednesday launching its 4G network across China. It was believed that Apple needed that 4G network in order to get its iPhone onto China Mobile's network and that Apple might share the stage on Wednesday to usher in the new technology.

Talk of Apple and China Mobile inking a deal to bring the iPhone to the carrier have been in the news for years. Each time, however, stumbling blocks appear to get in the way of a deal, leaving the companies to revisit their options. All signs pointed to a deal in this week, but it now appears unlikely to happen.

Whatever the case, it still appears that one day Apple and China Mobile will reach a deal. Exactly when, however, is still up in the air.