Apple Inc is getting closer to clearing the hurdles to start selling iPhones in China, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
It is one of the last major phone markets Apple has yet to tap, the paper said.
China is the world's largest mobile market with some 687 million subscribers, the paper said, compared with more than 270 million subscribers in the United States.
But Apple faces competition from other smart phones that are set to launch in China in coming months, the paper said.
The company must still complete negotiations with state-owned wireless operator China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd., which is expected to carry the iPhone, the paper said. Analysts told the paper those talks are nearing conclusion.
Apple spokeswoman Natalie Harrison declined comment.
(Additional reporting by Nichola Groom, editing by Leslie Gevirtz)