Part of the problem now is the Chinese government's sluggishness to approve 4G licenses for its carriers. Apple received approval to run the iPhone over China Mobile's LTE network months ago, but right now there is no LTE signal for the iPhone to run on. Media reports in the country suggest that China could issue its 4G licenses as soon as next week.
Selling the iPhone on China Mobile could give Apple a big shot in the arm.The nation as a whole has a smartphone penetration rate of under 50% and China Mobile itself has 750 million subscribers, many of whom would be interested in Apple's iconic smartphone. Currently, the iPhone is available in China from China Telecom and China Unicom.