China Mobile says Apple will support TD-LTE

China Mobile chairman Wang Jianzhou has said that Steve Jobs is “very interested” in developing an iPhone based on China mobile’s TD-LTE standard. Speaking on the sidelines of China’s Communist Party consultative meeting, Jianzhou told Reuters that the company had been talking to Apple for two years about the possibility of developing an iPhone that would work on the telco’s 3G TD-SCDMA standard.

Now, it seems, China’s own brand of LTE has piqued interested over in Cupertino although there has yet to be any official comment from Apple.

Jianzhou made similar claims in January of this year, when he said that Apple had “made it clear” that a future iPhone would support its TD-LTE standard. To date, China Mobile rival and GSM operator China Unicom is the only carrier in that country selling the iPhone.

On Wednesday this week, it was reported that the company was seeking to procure in excess of 12 million TD-SCDMA devices, of which a large number will be smartphones – a significant change in tack for a telco that has traditionally been forced to offer lower-end devices due to lack of vendor support for its home-grown standards. With a minimum procurement volume of 500,000 handsets for a single model, China Mobile is looking to play catch-up at the smart end of the market although, historically, its officially released volume figures have typically been higher than actual ones.

The seventh annual LTE World Summit takes place in Amsterdam on 17th – 18th May. <>

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