Despite the fact that China Mobile doesn’t have an agreement with Apple to sell the iPhone, its network counts 10 million iPhones users, as the company reported this morning via Reuters.

With 630 million customers, those 10 million iPhone users are just a drop in the bucket. But they do tell a lot about how much China wants the iPhone…

Wang Jianzhou also said Apple had promised to make the iPhone compatible with China Mobile’s TD-LTE standard when its next-generation model comes out. He would not say when this will happen.

“We have not yet got agreement with Apple,” Wang said on the fringes of the ITU World telecoms fair in Geneva. “Apple promised to provide, when they develop the iPhone for LTE, that it will include TD-LTE. We are discussing the details.”

China Mobile has previously said it had met several times with Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder and former chief executive who died this month, to discuss introducing an iPhone based on its own home-grown network standard.

The company is developing its next-generation TD-LTE mobile network technology, and Wang said there should be commercial trials next year in some cities.

This situation reminds us of T-Mobile US, who doesn’t sell the iPhone either, but still manages to have 1 million unlocked iPhone users on its network.

China is a widely untapped market for Apple. Once they company makes devices compatible with its local networks, sales for the iPhone should reach new heights.

  • AJ

    DearApple,
    When will your R&D team learn china is the most populated country?

    • That doesn’t help anyone. China is generally considered unprofitable for its size; of its 1.3 billion population, only 300 million are living in “developed” conditions. While that’s still a huge number, it’s no bigger than the US, and piracy is rampant there.

      Not saying they shouldn’t release the iPhone there; just saying it’s not going to be nearly as profitable as one would expect from such a large population.

    • Jason Masters

      More than 99% of statistics are made up. Fact.

  • Geno

    Off the subject but I could use some help. I have an iphone4 on 4.3.3 jailbroken that I what to update to iOS5. I updated itunes to 10.5 and downloaded iOS5. When I try to update my phone I get an error that I’m not eligable

    • Rob Matthews

      Geno, I had the same problem. I put the iPhone into Reatore Mode and took it into the Apple Store, and they were able to restore immediately even though I was not. Sometimes a small glitch like this happens. Be aware they might be able to get it out of Restore Mode and see that its jailbroken, but try to just get them to restore it from the computer before they can check that.
      ~Good Luck~

  • Geno

    Off the subject but I could use some help. I have an iphone4 on 4.3.3 jailbroken that I what to update to iOS5. I updated itunes to 10.5 and downloaded iOS5. When I try to update my phone I get an error that I’m not eligible for this build. Anybody know what I can do? Thx

    • Jason Masters

      Geno your going to have to take to apple store put it in dfu mode and return it they will update for you or replace I would look into hiding cydia before you go though.

  • babe

    can you guess how many among those iphone users uisng installous at china?
    80 percent?