Looks like Apple’s signature mobile device is headed to the Far East. Tim Cook & Co. have solidified a deal to sell the iPhone with China Mobile.
This new venture is huge for Apple because China Mobile is the world’s largest mobile network. In less than a month the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c will be available in China. Pre-ordering starts on December 25 and are expected in stores on January 17. The pricing has yet to be revealed for China Mobile.
With the China Mobile deal Apple may finally obtain more market share from Google’s Android devices. The new partnership introduces Apple to 700 million customers, seven times the size of AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
Tim Cook spoke on the China Mobile deal recently. “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. 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.”
To prepare for the China Mobile move Apple is developing a new iPhone that uses China developed TD-SCDMA 3G technology. This network is not widely supported outside of China unlike WCDMA which is used by China Unicom and China Telecom. China Mobile is currently building its 4G network off the ground and expansion of the network is coming 2014. Both Apple devices will be compatible with the growing 4G network.