Apple Working With China Mobile to Fix iPhone 4S Issues
China Mobile doesn’t officially carry Apple’s iPhone, but that hasn’t stopped 15 million of the companies subscribers from using unlocked versions of the phone on the network despite compatibility issues.
The compatibility issues are most apparent with the iPhone 4S, and Electronista is reporting Apple has updated all iPhone 4S devices built after February 8th to be compatible with China Mobile’s network. The problems stems from the iPhone 4S supporting only the GSM P band (885-915 MHz) and not the E band (880-890MHz). The P band is designed primarily for use outdoors, while the E band is optimized for use indoors. When China Mobile customers move from an area without P coverage they still see full signal strength but, can’t make or receive calls.
China Mobile issued a statement claiming that Apple is planning to issue a firmware update for the earlier iPhone 4S devices in the next few weeks to help alleviate problems.
Apple’s help of this issue seems to point to their commitment to the region, but also seems to strengthen claims that China Mobile and Apple are close to finalizing a deal that would officially make China Mobile the third carrier to offer the iPhone in China and the largest with the state owned provider claiming nearly 700 million subscribers.
Apple's exclusive deal with China Unicom comes to an end shortly and China Telecom is supposed to start selling iPhones sometime in the next week. With all three carriers in China selling the iPhone, Apple's has officially laid the ground work for a Chinese iDevice boom.