Up till recent Apple found it to be impossible to impose the same conditions as it did (nearly) everywhere else in the world. China Mobile is the only official gateway guarding the huge Chinese market, a thing that finally made Apple to sweeten the tone and cut the list of demands.

The most important concession made by Apple was to drop its demand on revenue sharing. The company is known to be a very stubborn negotiator, but this time rumor has it that Steve Jobs is very keen on getting the iPhone in China before the end of the year.

Add to that the analysts’ estimations that over 800,000 iPhones are already in use in China, and you might see why China Mobile is gaining more ground with every passing day.

According to a report on government-owned business paper, the companies are now getting along fine and a deal might be announced in the near future.

Apple would not comment on such speculation, while China Mobile’s CEO Wang Jianzhou pretended to back the rumor, only so he could poke Apple a bit more:

"We are discussing this issue but we do not have an agreement," said Wang during the ITU Telecom Asia 2008.

With the iPhone officially in China Apple would gain access to 1.2 billion potential customers, a figure that would certainly look well on Apple’s reports to shareholders. The gadget itself would be too expensive for the vast majority of the Chinese population, but these are just details which can be easily disregarded.