On Friday, CNBC reported that a deal between Apple and China Mobile was “imminent.” Not so, says one analyst, who argues that the iPhone 5 doesn’t support the carrier’s data network. “contrary to some media reports’ suggestions, the initial version of the iPhone 5 does not work on TD-LTE technology (4G technology adopted by China Mobile),” Danny Chu, an analyst with Nomura, said. Still, it’s possible that Apple will create a device to cater to the world’s largest carrier by subscriber volume.
“As the new iPhone is not compatible with China Mobile’s 3G or 4G technologies, it can only operate on 2G networks of China Mobile,” Chu explained to Investor’s Business Daily. “Until Apple launches an iPhone that is compatible with tD-SCDMA and TD-LTE, we continue to believe China Mobile is reluctant to commit to an iPhone partnership agreement.” China Unicom is currently the only carrier that offers Apple’s iPhone products and it is expected to sell the device in December, according to Chu’s estimates.