China Mobile and Apple have struck a deal. The state-owned telecommunications company will soon offer the Apple iPhone 5s and 5c and supporting services to its 700 million customers. Both parties are poised to benefit from the deal, as China Mobile is the world’s largest network, while Apple is the world’s most valuable company.
The announcement was made today. China Mobile will begin accepting pre-registrations for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c on its website on Dec. 25, 2013. Service will begin Jan. 17, 2014.
The network already has 1.2 million base stations supporting 2G, 3G and 4G wireless connectivity, with another half a million 4G stations planned in the near future. That will boost its 4G connectivity from 16 cities to 340 in the coming years. It also has 4.2 million branded Wi-Fi access points, further helping to support the expected influx of iPhone users.
The deal is easily one of the largest carrier-manufacturer agreements in mobile phone history. China Mobile’s customer base is the largest in the world. Apple’s revenue prospects are about go through the roof.