Apple Strikes Deal to Sell iPhone on China MobileIBTimes UK

Apple has teamed up with the mighty China Mobile to boost the sale of iPhones in the world's most populous country.

The companies announced that they have entered into a multi-year agreement by which Apple's latest phone models, iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, will be available from China Mobile's network of retail stores.

The models using China Mobile's 3G and 4G networks will also be available from Apple Retail Stores across mainland China beginning on 17 January 2014.

Pre-registration for the models on China Mobile website will start from 25 December.

"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," Xi Guohua, China Mobile chairman said in a statement.

Xi added that iPhone is compatible with China Mobile's high-speed 4G and 3G networks.

"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 Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Growing Importance of China Market

China, which is the world's second-largest economy, has been a target market for Apple, amid stiff competition in the home market from smartphones based on Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows platforms.

The company has been targeting its expansion and boosted handset sales in China, which has a growing high-income middle class.

"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." Cook noted.

Apple is expected to make a killing from the tie-up with China Mobile, which is said to be the world's largest mobile network in terms of numbers. The partnership is expected to add billions of dollars to Apple's revenue, though it is yet reveal the handset prices for Chinese consumers.

China Mobile claims to serve a customer base of more than 760 million. It has more than 1.2 million 2G, 3G and 4G base stations and over 4.2 million Wi-Fi access points. Looking ahead, its rolling out more than 500,000 4G base stations covering over 340 Chinese cities by the end of 2014.