Apple confirms iPhone deal with China Mobile

After years of rumors, Apple on Sunday finally confirmed that the iPhone will soon launch on China Mobile.

The iPhone landing on China Mobile was almost like a game of "the boy who cried wolf." For years, we've been seeing stories that all but guaranteed the iPhone was just about to land on China Mobile. In fact, the Wall Street Journal just a few weeks ago said that a deal between the two companies had finally been inked. Of course, a Reuters report soon came out indicating that the two companies were still in the midst of negotiations, trying to hammer out a deal.

Well, now we can finally say with 100% confidence that Apple has, in fact, signed a deal to bring the iPhone to the world's largest carrier. Apple confirmed the deal via a press release on Sunday. The press release notes that the deal is for a mult-year period and will see both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c for sale in both China Mobile retail shops and in Apple retail stores across mainland China.

"Apple has enormous respect for China Mobile and we are excited to begin working together," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a press release. "China is an extremely important market for Apple and our partnership with China Mobile presents us the opportunity to bring iPhone to the customers of the world's largest network. iPhone customers in China are an enthusiastic and rapidly growing group, and we can’t think of a better way to welcome in the Chinese New Year than getting an iPhone into the hands of every China Mobile customer who wants one.”

China Mobile has over 760 million subscribers, easily making it the largest carrier in the world and thereby representing a huge growth opportunity for Apple.

The iPhone will launch on China Mobile on January 17, 2014 with pre-orders for the device set to open up on December 25.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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