Ina Fried

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China Mobile Confirms Talks With Apple on iPhone

China Mobile told its shareholders on Wednesday that the company is in talks with Apple about carrying the iPhone.

“China Mobile and Apple both have the will to strengthen cooperation,” Chairman Xi Guohua said, according to Bloomberg. “When there is more specific news, we will disclose it.”

The company reportedly indicated that it is unclear whether a deal will be reached this year. An Apple representative was not immediately available for comment.

However, sources have said that a meeting with China Mobile was among the stops CEO Tim Cook made during a China trip earlier this year.

With roughly two-thirds-of-a-billion users, China Mobile is the biggest carrier in the world, as measured by number of customers. The company’s current 3G network doesn’t work with today’s iPhone, but a next-generation iPhone could well work with China Mobile’s 4G network, which is currently in a few spots.

China Mobile has also applied to offer service in the U.S., Reuters said, but it is unclear how well that bid will be received.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik