The Apple brand has signed an agreement with China’s largest operator distribute its last two iPhone models and 5c 5s from January 17. China Mobile has more than 750 million subscribers, and Apple could sell more than 24 million iPhones next year on one network.
After several years of tough negotiations, Apple announced Sunday it has successfully signed an agreement with China Mobile for the Chinese operator to market its latest two models of smartphones, iPhone and 5c 5s from 17 January. “China is an extremely important market for Apple and our partnership with China Mobile gives us the opportunity to bring the iPhone to consumers the largest network (mobile) world”, welcomed Tim Cook, the CEO Apple, in a statement, without disclosing provided the financial terms of the agreement which runs over several years.
“iPhone users in China are an enthusiastic group and growing rapidly and we could not imagine a better way to welcome the Chinese New Year by putting an iPhone in the hands of every customer that China Mobile the like “, also welcomed the Chief of the U.S. firm.
If Apple already had partnerships to sell the iPhone in China with China Unicom and China Telecom, two distinctly smaller operators, its alliance with China Mobile, the world’s leading mobile operator suggests the Apple brand of billion in additional turnover. According to experts, China Mobile has more than 750 million subscribers, and Apple could sell more than 24 million iPhone next year on one network.
“We know there are many China Mobile customers and potential new customers who are anxiously awaiting the incredible combination of the iPhone on the main network of China Mobile,” said Xi Guohua his side the China Mobile boss. China has its own mobile phone network of third generation (3G), which was previously only compatible with any iPhone model.
However, in early December, the Chinese government has granted the three operators, all owned by the government, licenses to develop a network of fourth generation (4G) faster and better, announcing an even greater competition between smartphone manufacturers in China. Apple are still struggling to cheaper competition from devices operating in particular in the mobile operating system Google Android.
According to research firm IDC, over 450 million smartphones could be sold next year in China with the new 4G network and now Apple-China Mobile agreement. An agreement that until then had been reached mainly because of minimum sales volume required by Apple. Early December, the Wall Street Journal said it had learned from a reliable source that China Mobile iPhone would add to its list of compatible smartphones by the end of the month. The Chinese operator had however denied reports the U.S. daily claiming that discussions were “ongoing.”
For Apple, China, with the United States, the only country to weigh more than 10% of its worldwide turnover.