China Mobile said today it’s still in talks with Apple to sell iPhones, reports Reuters.

Xi Guohua, the chairman of the world’s largest mobile phone carrier, said on Wednesday morning that his company had no announcement to make on any deal to carry Apple’s smartphones.]

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that an announcement would be made “around December 18″. Xi’s comment on Wednesday that talks were continuing was confirmed by company spokesman Ge Qi.

A deal with China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator with over 750 million subscribers, could be worth billions for Apple. China Mobile aims to sell between 190 to 220 million handsets

China Mobile’s 3G subscribers, using TD-SCDMA, accounted for just 23 percent of its total subscribers as of the end of October. That’s a much lower 3G adoption rate than the 42 and 54 percent for China Unicom and China Telecom, which use CDMA and GSM 3G standards.

China Unicom and China Telecom both carry the iPhone, but China Mobile’s handsets have been at a disadvantage without an iPhone capable of using TD-SCDMA (3G) or TD-LTE (4G) data.

China Mobile is planning to officially launch TD-LTE services in 2014. Ericsson the world’s largest cellular infrastructure provider, will deploy TD-LTE network in 15 provinces in mainland China for China Mobile.

Related Dailywireless articles include; Apple TD-LTE Phones to China Mobile , China Issues TD-LTE Licenses, AlcaLu Wins Big TD-LTE Contracts for China, Ericsson Wins Big China Mobile TD-LTE Contract, China Mobile Getting iPhones?, China Mobile Awards Initial TD-LTE Contracts

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