Apple Seeks Bigger Bite of China's Massive Mobile Market
In America, Apple's iPhone ushered in a new era of smart devices, revolutionizing the digital landscape as we know it--and racking up billions in the process. But will the product, launched roughly six years ago, have a similar impact on the rapidly expansive Chinese market?
In a highly-anticipated, multi-year deal inked with China Mobile, Apple will roll out its latest iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c on January 17 to the carrier's network of 760 million consumers--the largest wireless network in the world.
While Apple has already sold approximately 23 million iPhones in China through the second and third largest carriers in the country--China Unicom and China Telecom, respectively--China Mobile more than doubles the reach of both competitors combined.
Though the Cupertino-headquartered brand boasts an almost-mythical status stateside and throughout much of Europe, its late arrival to China means steep competition from locally-manufactured, cheaper devices that utilize the nemesis Android operating system.
And in China--unlike in America--there are actually more mobile applications available for Android users than there are in Apple's App Store.
Pricing details will be available at a later date, Apple said, and devices will be sold within its own retail stores as well as China Mobile locations. Customers can pre-register as of Christmas day on China Mobile's website.
"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," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.
Related: How to Do Business in China