Extra, Extra! After months of anticipation and teasers, Apple and China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile carrier in the world, have struck up a multi-year deal. The iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C will be available for China Mobile as soon as January 17, 2014.
Big news for both ends: Apple has been looking to tap into the potentially huge new customer base, seeing as many mobile users in the country are still transitioning to more advanced smartphones.
According to Forbes:
“China Mobile had 759 million users at the end of October and has been adding about 5 million additional users every month for the past 4 and a half years. It has 176 million using 3G technology (23% of its base) and has been adding almost 7 million a month over the past year.”
The deal has been estimated to generate at least $8.3 billion in revenue and add 4.5 percent to Apple’s revenue growth in the first year alone.
This month, China Mobile launched 4G LTE service more compatible to iPhones for customers in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Chongqing, and the service is expected to become available to customers in other cities within the next month. The telco also announced that it planned to offer free 4G packages and Wi-Fi time for the first batch of 4G users in Shanghai starting January.
Part of the press release from Apple:
Here’s “Apple’s iPhone is very much loved by millions of customers around the world. We know there are many China Mobile customers and potential new customers who are anxiously awaiting the incredible combination of iPhone on China Mobile’s leading network. We are delighted that iPhone on China Mobile will support our 4G/TD-LTE and 3G/TD-SCDMA networks, providing customers with high-speed mobile service,” said Xi Guohua, China Mobile Chairman.
“Apple has enormous respect for China Mobile and we are excited to begin working together. 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,” said Tim Cook, Apple CEO. “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.”