It was rumored over the last few weeks that Apple will announce iPhone launch on China Mobile at its September 10 event, it didn’t. Rumors of the launch heat up again as Chinese regulator grants Apple a network access license for the carrier.

Iphone 5S apps China Mobile iPhone launch rumors heat up as Apple gets network access license

Over the last few months it has been rumored time and again that both new iPhones will be launched on China Mobile this year. Apple CEO Tim Cook had a meeting with China Mobile, and the carrier did say that it is keen on selling the iPhone. The China Telecom Equipment Certification Center’s website notes that Apple has been given a network access license for a handset that resembles the iPhone which supports mobile standards, TD-LTE, used by China Mobile. Other access licenses granted to Apple were for handsets that support China Unicom and China Telecom’s mobile standards, the two carriers already officially carry Apple’s smartphones.

The China Mobile deal is said to be crucial for Apple, as it looks to increase its dominance in the Chinese market. China Mobile is the world’s largest mobile carrier, with over 700 million subscribers. Analysts believe that by launching the iPhones on the carrier, Apple might sell as many as 20 million additional iPhone units in China.

A recent rumor suggested that China Mobile might finally announce the iPhone later this year, possibly by November. The carrier first has to complete the roll out of its TD-LTE network, on which the new iPhones will run. This process might end up delaying the launch until November, according to the rumor.

Source: WSJ