China Moblie needs Apple more than they need them. People want Iphones in China just needs to get China Unicom or China telecom. Which means China Mobile will just lose customer base and be left with only people who want cheap free Android Phones, and not the high end smart phones.
Both Apple and China Mobile will not blink this year. Therefore no deal at all.
Selling subsidized iPhone 5 to lure high spending consumers might makes business sense for the 2 smaller carriers, it would not make sense for China Mobile to promote heavily subsidized iPhones. Just ATT exlcusive deal with Apple and Verizon promoting Android. Apple stock holders that wait on a lucrative China Mobile deal to boost stock price is misguided.
have you tried the $149 iPhone 5 knockoff? they are selling out like bags of rice in a shanghai dollar store. ironically these pirates have filed design patents in china based on first seller status that will now prevent apple from selling her gadget on the mainland.
When China Mobile sees the number of subcribers they're losing to there 2 rivals who offer the I-phone they will come to their senses and do a deal with Apple-just like DoCoMo will be doing in Japan.Offer the I-phone or lose tons of customers!! Which way would you go????