It is finally official. After many months of speculations, iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S would be widely sold in mainland China through China Mobile. Apple Inc has formally announced the agreement with the biggest Chinese wireless network operator. The iPhones would start using its new partner’s 3G and 4G networks beginning January 17.
Based on the same deal, pre-registration for any of the two new iPhones is supposed to start today, December 25. This means that consumers in the Asian country could start placing orders for the smartphones, which would be delivered after three weeks.
China has always been considered as a very important market for the smartphone manufacturer. Its partnership with the Chinese company is expected to bring greater opportunities to sell iPhone to customers of what is considered now as the biggest wireless network, not just in China but also in the whole world.
To date, it is estimated that China Mobile has over 760 million existing subscribers. This fact has never been obscure to Apple, which according to sources has been trying to forge an alliance with the company since 2011. It was just earlier this month that talks circulated about the possible deal between the two firms.
Based on a most recent report from analysis firm Canalys, China, together with Taiwan and Hong Kong, accounts for about 39% of the global handset market. Apple ranks as fifth in terms of smartphone sales in the region. The new Apple-China Mobile deal could possibly translate to iPhone sales of about 12.5 million to 30 million units in just a few months after the handset’s release in China.
Many analysts have seen this coming. Most of them think that Apple sees China as a crucial and necessary market to take if it really wants to beat rival Samsung Electronics as the world’s biggest smartphone maker. By selling more handsets in China, Apple would easily boost its iPhone sales.
iPhones are currently sold via other wireless networks in the country. But the deal with China Mobile is logically expected to actually bolster sales, given the Chinese company’s wide and strong influence in the local cellphone market.
Apple is also expected to further expand and strengthen its foothold in China. Just this fall, it announced that its iPad Air would also be available locally for the first time soon. This would help boost the development of local 4G/TD-LTE technology.