Rumors of a partnership between Apple and China Mobile have been swirling about for the past two years. The speculation has increased over the last few months as the gossip mill hinted that the operator had finally inked a deal with the Cupertino company.

And why wouldn’t Apple want to team up with China Mobile? With over 620 million subscribers, they are by far the world’s largest carrier. But according to AllThingsD, a final agreement between the two companies may rely on Apple agreeing on some fairly wild terms…

According to AllThingsD, industry sources say that talks have broken down between China Mobile and the iPhone-maker. Although both companies are reportedly very interested in a partnership, terms and technology seem to have brought negotiations to a stand-still.

Carriers have expressed their disapproval for Apple’s iPhone partnering terms before, but this situation is a bit different. Apparently China Mobile wants a cut of Apple’s App Store revenue to sweeten the partnership deal before it would agree to start carrying the popular smartphone.

Apple has never done this before, and it doesn’t have much of an incentive to start now. Even without an official Apple partnership, the carrier tracks over 10 million iPhones on its network. It’ll be interesting to see who gives in here, but we’re guessing it’s not going to be Tim Cook’s team.

  • Lupius

    Most of those 10M Chinese customers were able to afford their iPhones from the black market way above the retail price.With official partnership, we’d be looking at over 100M iPhones. A few % cut can’t hurt.

    • In that case china mobile should be begging partnership with apple, instead of giving ridiculous conditions.

      • Lupius

        Why? They would make just as much money from customers not using the iPhone.

    • Anonymous

      Dude it’s not always above the retail price it could be below the retail price with certain un-delightful condition for the customer from the seller

  • Anonymous

    If apple switch to China Unicom, that would be a slap on the face for Greedy China Mobile.

  • Allen Markham

    As the history of ‘partnerships’ with China shows these relationships are rarely what they seem on the surface. China is always looking for something else while the prospective partner is only looking for a few more customers. Usually the ‘something else’ is some expertise they can gain faster with a partner than without. Once the new expertise is gained, the partnership is terminated. The fact of which, I assume Apple is well aware.