But there is no timetable for when China Mobile would bring the iPhone to mainland China, a spokeswoman said. "Apple is no longer insisting on a revenue-sharing policy, so the biggest hurdle for China Mobile to bring in the iPhone has been cleared, but there are practical issues still to be resolved," said China Mobile spokeswoman Rainie Lei.
The report indicates that the deal would be similar to traditional handset distribution models where the carrier subsidizes the cost to make the phone cheaper and spur sales.
Apple has recently moved to this model with the iPhone 3G versus the original iPhone which was not subsidized but Apple received a cut of the monthly service plans.
While there is still no firm timeline on the introduction of the iPhone in China, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has indicated he would like to see the rollout this year.