China Mobile can want whatever they like. They have no leverage. Apple may want to enter China in a big way (and 628 million subscribers is a big draw), but China Mobile knows that the iPhone is very significant, too. Apple is already churning out blockbuster quarters without these 628 million customers (10 million unlocked iPhones already run on China Mobile’s network, without any sort of subsidy deal in place). They don’t need China, at least in the short-to-medium term. China Mobile wants iPhones much more.
For skeptics, compare it to the Verizon deal. They are the dominant player in the US. They were having some success with Android devices. They “wanted” Verizon crapware on the iPhone home screen.
It came out, in February 2011, with no such crapware. It was the iPhone. On Verizon. The ‘iPhone in China’ will be exactly the same.