Talk of iPhone in China begins anew

Once again, talk of bringing the iPhone to China is at the forefront, with China Mobile saying it was interested in offering the device to its customers.

Bringing the device to this region could be viewed as one of Apple's top priorities during 2008. Analysts have begun to question Apple's 10 million device goal this year based on sales in existing markets, so opening up new ones is an important next step.

China Mobile has some 350 million subscribers. Tapping into such a large customer base could mean millions of iPhones sold in China alone -- singlehandedly bringing Cupertino's goal within reach.

CEO Wang Jianzhou was quoted as telling reporters that the official talks between the two sides had not yet begun, despite his company saying talks had been called off in January.

It has been reported that China Mobile, as well as Japanese carriers NTT DoCoMo and Softbank have all balked at Apple's requirements for revenue sharing. Additionally, the company would have to address pricing issues as well.

At its $399 base price, the device's cost is well over the average Chinese salary of around $250 per month. In order to make the iPhone competitive, Apple may need to offer it at a lower price to attract customers.

As is typical with stories such as this, Apple is not commenting on the reports.

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