According to Reuters, China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua stated this morning that the company had nothing to announce regarding an agreement with Apple.
Meanwhile, China Mobile’s official website (translated) is hosting an iPhone 5S pre-registration page, complete with the promise that the handset will be TD-LTE-capable (TD-LTE is the carrier’s own 4G technology). So a launch could still happen before the end of the year.
Apple would undoubtedly benefit greatly form a proper deal with China Mobile, as the operator is currently serving more than 700 million customers. Of course, only a fraction of those are planning to buy iPhones, but it should still be enough for Apple to make huge profits.
China Mobile expects to sell about 100 million 4G handsets in 2014. For the moment, the company seems to have made 4G smartphone deals only with local manufactures, including Lenovo, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo.
sources: Reuters, Cellular-news