Despite teasers that China Mobile was going to introduce a “new brand” this week, and even images of China Mobile stores outfitted with Apple products, there’s no final deal between the two companies. Instead, Reuters said Wednesday that Apple and the world’s largest wireless carrier with more than 700 million subscribers are still in talks to offer the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.
Today was supposed to mark China Mobile’s big announcement, at least according to a report from The Wall Street Journal, but the carrier’s chairman Xi Guohua said there’s nothing to announce at this time. Perhaps talks went sour at the last minute, or perhaps the two companies are planning the perfect way to announce their partnership. The deal is crucial for Apple, however, which is trying to boost its market share in China, where Android has a strong footing and competitors are wooing consumers with budget handsets.
While the deal seemed almost certain, we’re now left in limbo to wait for something more official. Considering that some stores already have Apple products on display, and that pre-orders were supposed to start last week, however, we’re willing to bet it will happen sooner than later.