The current consensus on China Mobile iPhone 5S/5C release- is this November. The biggest Chinese operator is waiting for the permission from Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) for the commercial launch of its 4G network. As soon as they get the license, they are lighting up TD-LTE services, with an iPhone as the flagship device to showcase them.
Despite the week start of iPhone 5C in China, official availability on China Mobile is expected to have a huge impact on overall iPhone sales. This carrier already has 42 million customers using grey market Apple smartphones. All those handsets are incompatible with China Mobile’s 3G network, and are stuck to Wi-Fi or slow GPRS/EDGE speeds.
Official LTE iPhone with 100 Mbps download capability and contract subsidies from China Mobile, can add several tens of millions in additional Apple device sales, just from upgrading users alone.