At the beginning of the year, the talks that could have made the iPhone available in China broke down.

But now China Mobile's chief executive has implied that, although formal talks have not yet been restarted, his company is still interested in bringing the iPhone to China.

The talks were believed to have broken down over Apple's controversial revenue sharing policy, in which it takes a share of the profits from iPhone usage through an agreement with a specific operator in each country.

However, China Mobile's Wang Jianzhou told reporters on the sidelines of an annual parliament advisory body meeting: "We have not yet officially begun talks with Apple over the iPhone problem. As long as our customers want this kind of product, we will keep all options open".

Apple had also initiated talks with NTT DoCoMo and Softbank to bring its multimedia device to Japan, although sources at both Japanese firms said revenue sharing was again a hotly contested issue.

Apple is keeping quiet.