China Mobile Hits 15 Million Unofficial iPhone Users as Apple Fixes iPhone 4S Signal Issues

China Mobile may be the world's largest carrier with over 650 million customers, but it is not yet an official iPhone carrier, due in part to unique technology used for its 3G network that would so far have forced Apple to build special hardware to be compatible with the carrier.

But that hasn't stopped the carrier from supporting the iPhone for its customers to use on its 2G network, and Tech in Asia now reports on news from Beijing Daily sharing that China Mobile now has 15 million iPhone users. The milestone comes just over four months after the carrier reached 10 million iPhone users.

china mobile iphone promo
Despite the iPhone's popularity with China Mobile's customers, the device's potential there is undoubtedly barely being tapped, with advances in chip technology and the carrier's network meaning that future iPhones are likely to run on its fastest 4G LTE networks without requiring unique hardware.

Even iPhone 4S users trying to use the device on China Mobile's 2G network have been experiencing difficulties with SIM card activation, but Beijing Daily reports (via The Next Web) that the issue has now been resolved by Apple despite the fact that China Mobile is not an official carrier for the device.

Apple Inc. may release an IOS update specifically for the Chinese mainland in early March to resolve the signal problems plaguing iPhone 4S owners using China Mobile’s network.

China Mobile said that Apple had updated the system of all iPhone 4S handsets manufactured after Feb. 8, 2012 to fully support its network, and will offer a software update for previously manufactured iPhone 4S handsets in early March.

The issue is reportedly related to the handling of two different frequency bands used by China Mobile's 2G GSM network, with iPhone 4S incompatibility with the E frequency band resulting in users being unable to connect to the network in areas served by that frequency band.

Top Rated Comments

paul4339 Avatar
114 months ago

sow...

15000000 / (4x30=120 days) = 125000 Phones per day....


:eek:

They added 5 million in the last 4 months.. 42k per day (still impressive)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
igazza Avatar
114 months ago
Apple really should build a phone to support there 3G network, 650 million customers :eek:
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
taosu Avatar
114 months ago
Well, in China, the official carrier for iPhone is China Unicom, which runs a WCDMA 3G network (which iPhone supports). But it is a less popular carrier in China. China Mobile is the biggest carrier but it has a strange 3G technology developed by itself (TD-SCDMA).. Although China Mobile's 3G network is not standard, it still managed to maintain a big market share because they have a giant user base and they heavily discounted within-network calls/texts.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TallManNY Avatar
114 months ago

Those are product names. Product names are never translated...

What I'm wondering is this: 5,000,000 iPhones in 4 months. Here in Holland we are out of stock almost always... I feel left out... :rolleyes:


Yep, there is a reason that the New York Apple stores have a distinctly Asian feel to them during the first few weeks of sales; large numbers of iPhones being bought here and shipped to China to be sold on the Grey Market. But a lot of those added phones are probably used iPhones. Upgrading iPhone 4S users are selling off their used iPhones and I bet a ton of them are ending up in China.

I've always thought China has the potential to be a bigger market for Apple than the U.S. The icon driven design of the iPhone coupled with the abandonment of the innately western physical qwerty keyboard creates an opportunity in Asian markets that I just don't think has been grasped by the largely western financial analysts.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LaWally Avatar
114 months ago

1.336.718.015 people in china,

1336718015 / 15000000 = 89.1....

or 1 out of 90 people own a iPhone 4s... ?

damn


Or as Apple views it ... 89 out of 90 people in China do not own an iPhone ... yet!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SavMBP15 Avatar
114 months ago
Good thing these 15 million people are supporting their own economy since it is made right there.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

m1 chip macbook air pro

Kuo: Redesigned MacBooks With Apple Silicon to Launch in Second Half of 2021

Tuesday November 24, 2020 7:53 pm PST by
Apple plans to release additional MacBook models with Apple Silicon in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, as part of the company's two-year transition away from Intel processors across its Mac lineup. In a research note today, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said that these MacBook models will feature a new design. Kuo did not specify which models these will be, but he...
2020 apple shopping event

Apple Offering Up to $150 Gift Card With Select Products on Black Friday Through Cyber Monday

Monday November 23, 2020 2:53 am PST by
Apple has announced its annual four-day shopping event, offering customers up to a $150 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of select products between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States. The gift card values in the United States are as follows: $150 for 16-inch MacBook Pro $150 for 21.5-inch iMac $50 for 13-inch MacBook Pro $50 for MacBook Air $50 for iPhone SE,...
app store christmas icon

Apple Shutting Down App Store Connect From December 23 to December 27

Monday November 23, 2020 10:14 am PST by
Apple shuts down App Store Connect for a week around the holidays each year in an effort to give App Store staff time off from work. This year, App Store Connect will be unavailable from December 23 to December 27. With App Store Connect unavailable, Apple will not accept new apps or app updates, so all pricing changes and new app submissions need to be locked in before those dates for...
Target November Deals 1

Black Friday Spotlight: Target Begins Week-Long Sale With Deals on iPhone 12, Powerbeats Pro, and More

Monday November 23, 2020 8:07 am PST by
We've been tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Target. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running....
mac mini macbook pro macbook air

Apple M1 Hands-On Comparison: MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac Mini

Monday November 23, 2020 3:40 pm PST by
Apple's M1 Macs are out in the wild now, but ahead of the holidays, you might still be trying to figure out which one to pick up, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else. We've got all three of the new Macs available, so we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a hands-on overview of each machine in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
max tech xcode benchmark m1 macbook

Video Demos Performance Differences Between 8GB and 16GB Apple M1 MacBook Pro

Monday November 23, 2020 2:54 pm PST by
All of the M1 Mac models use the same M1 chip, so the upgrade options are limited to SSD storage space and RAM. We haven't seen many comparisons that demonstrate the difference between a machine with 8GB RAM and the upgraded 16GB RAM option, but Max Tech today shared a video highlighting the performance between an 8GB MacBook Pro and a 16GB MacBook Pro. The video includes a series of...
new mac mini logicpro screen

M1 Macs Able to Run Up to Six External Displays Using DisplayLink

Tuesday November 24, 2020 6:53 am PST by
It is possible to run up to six external displays from the M1 Mac mini, and five external displays from the M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, with the aid of DisplayPort adapters, according to YouTuber Ruslan Tulupov. This far exceeds Apple's specified limits on external displays with the M1 Macs. Apple's host of new M1 Macs are not capable of supporting as many external displays as their...
iPads black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best iPad Deals

Tuesday November 24, 2020 8:51 am PST by
Although we're still a few days away from the official launch of Black Friday, we've known for a few weeks that many retailers would be kicking off discounts ahead of November 27. Because of this trend, today we're tracking discounts across Apple's lineup of iPads, including the 10.2-inch iPad and 2020 iPad Pro. More sales are likely to appear as the week progresses, and when they do we'll update ...
13 16 inch macbook pro air trio

Reliable Leaker Suggests Redesigned MacBooks in 2021 Will Include Both Apple Silicon and Intel Models

Wednesday November 25, 2020 9:15 am PST by
Reliable leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today suggested on Twitter that redesigned MacBooks coming in the second half of 2021 will include models with both Apple Silicon chips and Intel processors. The brief Tweet came in response to a MacRumors article from earlier today, which outlined a report from Ming-Chi Kuo claiming that Apple plans to release redesigned MacBook models with Apple ...
ipad pro 2020 display

Black Friday Week Kicks Off With Up to $150 Savings on 2020 iPad Pro

Sunday November 22, 2020 2:37 pm PST by
As we head into Black Friday week, we're seeing some of the best deals of the season so far, with Amazon and Best Buy today discounting the latest iPad Pro models by up to $150 at the lowest prices we've ever tracked on these models. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep ...