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.

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Top Rated Comments

paul4339 Avatar
161 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
161 months ago
Apple really should build a phone to support there 3G network, 650 million customers :eek:
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
taosu Avatar
161 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
161 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
161 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
161 months ago
Good thing these 15 million people are supporting their own economy since it is made right there.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)