Apple may be preparing to increase its market share in China by including support for China Mobile's 3G network in their next generation of the popular iPhone.
Apple may be preparing for its next generation of iPhones to be truly global devices with indications that support for China Mobile’s TD-SCDMA 3G cellular network will be a “key feature” of the device. In checks with various suppliers, Shaw Wu of Sterne Agee has heard that support for the network will be implemented in the next generation of the device. This would make sense, as China Mobile is the largest cellular company in the world, with more than 650 million subscribers to their cellular service. While trials for 4G networks are underway, widespread adoption in the Chinese market is likely to be a couple of years away still. So, a strong 3G support is critical to a good showing should Apple release its iPhone on China Mobile.
Further indications that Apple is looking to strengthen its presence in the Chinese market include an enhanced support for Chinese languages in iOS 6. These enhancements include easier character input and support for Siri to understand spoken Mandarin and Cantonese.
Shaw Wu also believes that the next generation of iPhone will include a new form factor, a larger screen, and 4G LTE capabilities. While there have been no official announcements from Apple concerning these changes, various sources have speculated about an increased screen size in the next iPhone. Wu, in a letter to investors on Thursday, said he believes that the next generation iPhone won’t be released until October, placing it a full year after the launch of the iPhone 4S.