New IPhone, 4G Technology May Mean Apple, China Mobile Tie Up Closer

* Next iPhone, China 4G licence seen as catalysts for deal

* China Mobile says talks with Apple were positive

* China Mobile Q2 net profit up slightly

* China Mobile shares edge up 0.2 pct

By Lee Chyen Yee and Yimou Lee

SINGAPORE/HONG KONG, Aug 15 The stars may be aligning for a long-awaited deal between Apple Inc and China Mobile Ltd, the world's biggest mobile carrier, that could help the iPhone maker claw back lost ground in its most important growth market.

Apple is expected to unveil its redesigned iPhone next month and may also release a cheaper, emerging market smartphone. Crucially, it also now has Qualcomm Inc chips that can operate even on China's obscure networks. At the same time, Beijing is expected to grant 4G licences by the year-end that favour the biggest of its domestic mobile operators.

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New IPhone, 4G Technology May Mean Apple, China Mobile Tie-up Closer
New iPhone, 4G technology may mean Apple, China Mobile tie-up closer