China Mobile recently denied inking a deal with Apple, throwing off the reports that claimed the two companies finally reached a partnership agreement that would see the iPhone offered to carrier’s 740 million subscribers. Word of the deal first emerged in The Wall Street Journal late Wednesday but a follow up report from CNN Money that was released just a few hours later refuted the “insider information” with a statement from China Mobile saying nothing had been signed, but instead the negotiations were “in progress.”

Reuters corroborated the development with a statement from China Mobile spokeswoman Rainie Lei saying that the carrier is “still negotiation with Apple, but for now we [China Mobile] have nothing new to announce.” Despite the uncertainty surrounding the consummation, it’s widely believed that a deal between the two companies is imminent. Previous reports indicated that the iPhone’s appearance on China Mobile’s network was being held back until the introduction of the carrier’s 4G TD-LTE network, an event that should be taking place in mid-December now that China’s telecommunications regulator has signed off on the launch.

Additional evidence has pointed towards a December introduction and has accumulated in recent weeks. China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency reported in late November that both China Mobile’s 4G network activation and the iPhone launch would take place on December 18. Furthermore, a China Mobile subsidiary in the mainland city of Suzhou, near Shanghai, rolled out a web-based reservations system for Apple’s handset, though the page was withdrawn.

Analysts believe that an agreement with China Mobile could be a major revenue driver for Apple. We’ll have to wait and see what ends up happening.

Source: CNN Money