Apple’s plans to launch a super-speedy LTE-enabled ‘4G’ iPhone later this year have reportedly been scuppered by a delay in manufacturing the chips, however, when the device does launch in 2012, it’s heading to China Mobile.
The carrier revealed today that is has “reached consensus” with Apple on using its 4G technology with a future iPhone. Talks with Apple remain ongoing, according to Wang Jianzhou – China Mobile’s Chairman – though, he did not specify when the device may arrive or what exactly had been agreed between the two companies.
China Mobile’s commercial trials of its 4G technology are set to start at the beginning of next year, according to Wang. “4G” refers to the next-generation of cellular data technology called LTE. It is often labelled 4G as the successor to the 3G technology used in Apple’s iPhone 4 today.
Wang also revealed that despite no support for the iPhone at present, over 4 million people use the device on the China Mobile network. Rival China Unicom is currently the only carrier in China that offers Apple’s smartphone.
This isn’t the first time Wang’s spilled the beans on potential Apple deals: back in March he revealed that Apple CEO Steve Jobs had “expressed interest in an LTE iPhone” and was hoping to get the ball rolling “at an early date.” And before that, Wang revealed in January that Apple had “made it clear” a future iPhone would support 4G technology.