Apple has been wooing China for some time now. CEO Tim Cook has been spotted making the rounds throughout the year in the world’s most populated country. The reason Apple wants to buddy up with the birthplace of most of its mobile devices is that the world’s largest mobile carrier, China Mobile, has 760 million customers. Until now, Apple has not been able to make an agreement with China Mobile.
Yesterday, however, Apple announced that China Mobile’s 3G and 4G network will be active starting Jan. 17, 2014. The iPhone 5s and 5c will be available for preregistration starting December 25.
According to research from Forrester, this deal could potentially bring 17 million new iPhone activations in 2014. That is in addition to the 16.8 million iPhones that Apple sold in Mainland China in 2013.
Reuters points out that China Mobile was the only Chinese carrier not to offer customers the iPhone due to compatibility issues with 3G wireless technology (TD-SCDMA). Thanks to regulation changes from Chinese officials, China Mobile was awarded licenses to 3G and 4G technology on December 4.
Now that China Mobile can provide 3G and 4G technology to its customers, it is also likely that Apple will see a boost in iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display sales in China. Since the newest model of Apple tablets runs on the faster network, there will now be 760 potential new customers ready to browse the Internet while on the go with the new iPad.