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We Have 10 Million iPhone Users Claims China Mobile

The world's largest mobile phone operator by users, China Mobile, says that it has more than 10 million iPhone users on its network even though it doesn't have a formal agreement with Apple to sell the handset.

The company's chairman, Wang Jianzhou, told Reuters (opens in new tab) that the company was still discussing with Apple the prospect of providing a handset that supports China Mobile's TD-LTE standard and it is likely that this will come with the iPhone 5.

Only China Unicom officially stocks the iPhone, but the fact that 10 million Chinese users have chosen to pay for what is an expensive phone without any subsidies and use it on China Mobile's network can only offer hope for the network.

With 630 million users, even a single digit conversion to Apple's smartphone would rake in significant revenue, as Apple handsets are usually pitched with a higher monthly contract.

It's worth noting that no iPhones are compatible - out of the box - with China Mobile's proprietary TD-LTE technology, which means that they are almost certainly being used to make calls and send texts, not to surf the web (Wi-Fi is disabled on most devices sold to the end-users in China).

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.