Apple Finally Topples Great Wall, Reportedly Inks Deal With World’s Largest Carrier

"I can hear you now."

“I can hear you now.”

After years of negotiations, Apple and China Mobile have finally closed a deal for the carrier to sell the iPhone. Rumors of the two companies working together started gaining momentum a few months ago with a report from the The Wall Street Journal, and now the same publication is reporting that the deal has been finalized.

We’re still waiting on an official confirmation from Apple and China Mobile, but now is probably a good time to buy Apple stock. Why? There are 700 million reasons.

According to the Journal, the iPhone rollout on China Mobile will begin around December 18th after the carrier’s conference where it will unveil its new 4G network. China Mobile is the largest carrier in the world with 700 million subscribers. It’s currently unclear which specific iPhone models will be sold, but a China Mobile subsidiary recently started accepting preorders for the iPhone 5c and 5s.

Apple and China Mobile have had many hurdles to overcome for a deal to take place, such as the carrier’s previous lack of 4G coverage and disagreements over pricing.

To put the sheer size of China Mobile into perspective, the largest carrier in the U.S. is Verizon Wireless with around 119 million customers.

The iPhone is Apple’s cash cow, and for years the company has been growing its business in China, but Tim Cook and co. have hit a wall (pardon the pun) in terms of potential user base. Now that China Mobile is on board, the prospect of China outpacing the U.S. as Apple’s largest market suddenly became a very immediate possibility.

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  • Steven Quan

    In 2009, the average Chinese income was $10,220. In the USA it was $84,300. That’s a pretty big difference. Everyone regards China as the “Holy Grail” of markets. Problem is, the Chinese can’t afford iPhones which is why Android is so popular over there. iPhones are more expensive in China due to tariffs and whatnot and they don’t subsidize over there. You’re asking the people to fork over $800 for a smart phone when even people in the U.S. would have trouble with that.

  • Robert X

    In 2009, the average Chinese income was $10,220. In the USA it was $84,300. That’s a pretty big difference. Everyone regards China as the “Holy Grail” of markets. Problem is, the Chinese can’t afford iPhones which is why Android is so popular over there. iPhones are more expensive in China due to tariffs and whatnot and they don’t subsidize over there. You’re asking the people to fork over $800 for a smart phone when even people in the U.S. would have trouble with that.

    You have zero idea what the “deal” is so you are sparking a lot of speculation.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for over two years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by places like the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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