It's been a longstanding rumor, and today it's come true. Apple and China Mobile have announced the iPhone is coming to China's largest mobile network. The multi-year agreement calls for the iPhone 5s and 5c to be available from China Mobile retail sites, and in Chinese Apple retail stores on January 17.
"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's chairman.
"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," Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive, said in a statement released late today.
This pact means Apple is going to sell a lot of iPhones. China Mobile is the world's largest mobile services provider, with more than 760 million subscribers.
Currently, Apple is number 5 in smartphone sales in China. Apple has wanted this deal for a long time, and China Mobile got interested after iPhone sales were going to other, smaller carriers in the country.