Are Apple’s China Problems Over?
Technical incompatibility has often been cited as the reason for the absence of a relationship between Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and China Mobile (NYSE:CHL), but that problem may be getting a permanent solution. Apple supplier Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) has announced a new global LTE chip that operates on 40 different wireless network bands.
That includes all existing LTE networks in the world, including the TD-SCDMA band of the world’s largest carrier by number of subscribers.
Qualcomm’s anticipated launch period for the chip in the second half of 2013 would coincide with Apple’s usual annual iPhone refresh cycle.
The RF360 Front-End Solution has been designed to get rid of LTE fragmentation, so manufactures would only need to launch a single handset to support 2G, 3G, 4G LTE, and LTE Advanced networks. Apple launched three different versions of the iPhone 5 in September, but did not have one that could work with China Mobile’s network.
While China Mobile is not an official Apple partner carrier, it already has about 15 million iPhone users on its 2G network…