Reuters reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook and the head of China Mobile, Xi Guohua, met Tuesday to discuss a cooperative agreement. China Mobile is the world’s largest mobile carrier by subscriber number and is the only Chinese carrier that doesn’t offer the iPhone or iPad to its customers.
Neither company offered any details on what the meeting was about, but the intent is obvious — China is one of the biggest growth areas in the world for technology products such as smartphones and other devices.
Apple had previously announced that in the quarter spanning April to June, sales within Greater China decreased by 43% compared to the previous quarter. The Greater China area accounted for 13% of Apple’s most recent quarterly sales compared to 19% for January through March.
Some analysts who follow the mobile industry within China point out that less than a fifth of China Mobile’s customers are currently on 3G service. These analysts believe that China Mobile could gain high-end 3G users by striking a deal with Apple to carry the iPhone.
The Chinese mobile internet market is expected to roughly $30 billion by 2015, so it’s no surprise that Apple wants in on a piece of the action.
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