China Mobile still isn’t in formal talks with Apple (AAPL) to sell the iPhone there, Reuters reports. That, of course, leaves plenty of room for informal talks between Apple boss Steve Jobs and Wang Jianzhou, CEO of the world’s biggest mobile carrier. The biggest hurdle: revenue sharing, which makes up a significant chunk of Apple’s iPhone profit.
“We have not yet officially begun talks with Apple over the iPhone problem,” China Mobile Chief Executive Wang Jianzhou told reporters. “As long as our customers want this kind of product, we will keep all options open,” said Wang.
It’s clear they want it: China Mobile (CHL) said 400,000 “unlocked” iPhones — which require some ingenuity to acquire — were on its network at the end of 2007. That’s more than 10% of all iPhones sold last year. Apple, of course, would love a chance to grab event a tiny slice of China Mobile’s 376 million subscribers — a few of which would go a long way toward its goal of selling 10 million iPhones this year.
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