Yesterday Apple sent out invites to several Chinese media outlets for a special event to be held at Beijing’s World Trade Center on September 11. The invitation came hours after Apple had sent out a similar invitation to an event at their Cupertino, Calif., headquarters on September 10. Many media outlets speculated that this might connected to the launch of the iPhone on China’s largest mobile carrier – China Mobile.
Today, Chinese tech blog – MyDriver is reporting that Apple will indeed announce a partnership with China Mobile. The company will reportedly build an iPhone 5S with TD-LTE support for China Mobile with a prospective launch date of Novemeber. However, China Unicom and China Telecom are expected to carry the iPhone on launch day – September 20.
The late arrival of the iPhone 5S to China Mobile is mainly due to the progress of 4G licenses issue. The Ministry is expected to release 4G licenses before the National Day, but was postponed until November, the report suggests. However, once the license is issued, China Mobile will immediately offer their iPhone 5S with supports TD-LTE, TD-SCDMA.
The report further states that the code-named of the iPhone 5S is “N53” and the network standard support is described as follows:
N53: GSM / EDGE; UMTS / HSPA + / DC-HSDPA; TD-SCDMA; FDD-LTE + TDD-LTE
“This satisfies China Mobile for 4G devices “five die ten-band” in the “five-mode” requirement, and because TD-LTE 4G network still under construction, backward compatible with TD-SCDMA 3G network is required,” the report states. “The first iPhone 5S of China Telecom and China Unicom, will need a firmware upgrade to support TD-LTE. Since these two carriers tend to FDD-LTE, TD-LTE network is still preliminary trials, the future may be moved by renting TD-LTE network to give proper services.”
The terms of the deal between Apple and China Mobile is still unclear. However, recent discussions between the two companies were going well according to various reports.