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Apple Looking to Develop iPhone Based on TD-LTE?


Reuters briefly reports on comments from China Mobile chairman Wang Jianzhou claiming that Apple has "expressed interest" in developing an iPhone capable of running on the carrier's TD-LTE network currently under development.

China Mobile Ltd, the world's largest mobile carrier by subscribers, said on Friday that Apple Inc Chief Executive Steve Jobs has expressed interest in developing an iPhone based on the Chinese carrier's network standard.

China Mobile is developing its next-generation TD-LTE mobile network technology and there have been talks over a possible iPhone tie-up with the carrier.

Time-division LTE (TD-LTE), developed by China Mobile, is a variation on the LTE standard that can offer certain benefits over traditional frequency-division LTE (FD-LTE), including lower cost of deployment and dynamic balancing of upload and download bandwidth. Reports have indicated that the same chip can be used to allow devices to access both traditional LTE and TD-LTE networks.

Although TD-LTE is a homegrown standard from China Mobile, it has started to gain acceptance from other operators around the world who have been trialling the technology as an alternative to FD-LTE.

While LTE networks are beginning to go live on several major carriers around the world, full adoption and build-out will not occur for quite some time, and reports have indeed suggested that Apple will skip LTE compatibility on the fifth-generation iPhone presumably scheduled to launch just a few months from now. Consequently, most observers are looking to an LTE-compatible iPhone launch in mid-2012.

Related roundups: iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6