23rd December 2013
Apple looks set to significantly broaden its market share and up its revenue as the technology giant has sealed a multi-year deal with China Mobile to take its iPhone to the world’s largest mobile network.
At present China is the world’s largest smartphone market, with more than one billion users and as part of the agreement, the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c will be available from China Mobile’s network of shops as well as Apple stores across mainland China beginning on 17 January 2014.
The deal should give a welcome boost for Apple in a country where it’s trailing its competitors even though China is its second-largest market after the U.S. It will also give Apple extra firepower in its intensifying global competition with South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd according to Reuters.
Tim Cook, Apple CEO commenting on the deal says: “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.”
Xi Guohua, China Mobile chairman says: “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.”
China Mobile which has some 760m subscribers is currently rolling out the world’s largest 4G network. By the end of 2013, China Mobile’s 4G services will be available in 16 cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. By the end of 2014, China Mobile plans to complete the rollout of more than 500,000 4G base stations, which will cover more than 340 cities with 4G service.