On Jan. 17, Apple’s latest line of iPhones will finally be made available on the world’s largest cellular carrier. While it doesn’t guarantee that Apple’s share of the smartphone market will increase, it is likely to have a huge impact on worldwide adoption of the iPhone. Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down alongside China Mobile’s chairman Xi Gouhau in Beijing for an interview with CNBC. Cook praised China Mobile called this week’s launch a “watershed moment” for the iPhone.
Access to the largest mobile provider brings with it a lot of possibilities. Although the iPhone and iPad have been available in China for years, this is the first time any iOS device has been compatible with China Mobile’s data network. Sales estimates from analysts have come it at around 1.2 million pre-orders for Friday’s launch. Earlier predictions from the tech world point to an additional 17-million iPhone users for China Mobile in the coming year.
This could potentially open up the tablet market to more consumers as well. The iPhone has been called the “gateway device” for getting people into the iOS ecosystem. An addition of 20-million iPhone users could translate into millions of new iPad customers as well. Plus, if China Mobile adds the iPad Wi-fi + Cellular to their product offerings, the iPad Air would be the fastest running tablet on the fastest cellular network.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Chairman Gouhua was quoted as saying that the deal between the carrier and the tech giant is not limited to handsets, but also involves broader cooperation between the two.
It seems like 2014 is going to be a very good year for Apple, Inc.