December 22, 2013: After months of false starts, Apple finally secures a deal with China Mobile to bring the iPhone to the world’s largest telecom company.
With 760 million potential iPhone customers in the offing, the deal shapes up as Apple’s most important yet for growing its brand in China. In fact, Apple CEO Tim Cook says the country soon will become the company’s biggest market.
“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,” Cook said in a statement when the news broke. “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.”