We’re still waiting for the iPhone to make its big debut on China Mobile, but we’ve seen lots of evidence to suggest that the move is imminent. The latest indication comes from a job listing on Apple’s China website that seeks a new engineer with extensive knowledge of China Mobile’s TD-SCDMA network.
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Tim Cook suggested during Apple’s earnings call earlier this week that the Cupertino company wouldn’t be announcing any new products until later this year. So it’s no surprise to see that analysts from Citigroup are now reporting that the iPhone 5S will be available in early September, alongside a new low-cost iPhone for emerging markets.
Digitimes has today published one of its more questionable rumors regarding Apple’s upcoming low-cost iPhone. Citing sources in the Cupertino company’s supply chain, it claims the cheaper device — believed to be called the “iPhone mini” by one analyst — will make its debut later this year, aimed at China and other emerging markets.
But it won’t be smaller to cut costs. Instead it’ll boast a larger screen to meet the “prevailing trend for the adoption of 5-inch displays.”
China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier with over 655 million subscribers, is in talks with Apple to bring the iPhone to its homegrown 3G (TD-SCDMA) network. The carrier’s chairman, Xi Guohua, confirmed the discussions during a shareholders meeting earlier this week.
Apple is yet to strike a deal with China Mobile over the iPhone, but that hasn’t stopped the Cupertino company from supporting China Mobile customers who want to use its latest smartphone with the carrier unofficially. Just a month after Apple confirmed that the iPhone 4S has issues with China Mobile SIM cards, it has fixed the device to eliminate signal issues.
Apple’s iPhone is set to launch with a second carrier in China, breaking China Unicom’s current reign of exclusivity it has held since 2009. China Telecom — the country’s third-largest carrier with 106 million subscribers — is reportedly completing negotiations with Apple that will see the carrier selling the device before the end of this year.