The report says that China's Telecom Equipment Certification Center has given the go-ahead for Apple's iPhone to run on China Mobile's cellular network.
It's unclear exactly why Apple has taken so long to embrace the world's largest single wireless carrier. To date, the iPhone has only been available on China Unicom and China Telecom. However, the fact that China Mobile used -- and continues to use -- proprietary standards for its network (TD-SCDMA for 3G, TD-LTE for 4G) were surely issues for Apple.
It's also possible that China Mobile simply played hardball with Apple, and didn't want to give Apple everything the Cupertino, Calif.-based company wanted. Apple's leverage may have been lessened, though; a December 2012 IDC report said that Apple had dropped to no. 6 among smartphones in China.
On Wednesday, however, China's Telecom Equipment Certification Center said that Apple had been given a "network access license" for an iPhone that runs on the TD-SCDMA and TD-LTE networks used by China Mobile. Other licenses were granted to Apple for handsets using the standards of both China Unicom and China Telecom.
Carriers in China usually begin selling new handsets within weeks of approval by the Telecom Equipment Certification Center. On Tuesday, Apple said that -- for the first time -- its newest iPhones, the iPhone 5S and 5c, would go on sale in China on Sept. 20, at the same time they launch in the United States.
Past iPhones have launched in the Asian giant's market months after the initial launch date.