After years of rumors, Apple has finally signed a deal to begin selling the iPhone with the world’s largest carrier, China Mobile. The deal is expected to begin officially with the launch of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c on the carrier, which is also launching its 4G LTE network on the same day. Below is the report from the Wall Street Journal regarding the launch with China Mobile:
At [its] Dec. 18 event, China Mobile plans to unveil a brand for its fourth-generation, or 4G, network. China Mobile executives have said they would only begin to sell the iPhone after introducing 4G services. China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said Wednesday it gave licenses to China Mobile and its smaller rivals to operate the higher-speed mobile networks, clearing one of the last hurdles.
Yesterday it was revealed that there was a sign up page for pre-orders for the iPhone on China Mobile was briefly live online, but was quickly taken down by the carrier ahead of the official announcement.
While this deal may not seem that significant, China Mobile has more than seven times the users that Verizon Wireless does in the United States at around 700 million subscribers. This means that there is a huge customer base for Apple, and it also helps the company grow its presence in China, a major emerging technology market. The reports also claim that Apple is set to gain $10 billion per year in revenue thanks to the deal with China Mobile. It’s great to see that Apple continues to push towards expanding its brand internationally, and continuing to spread its products.