The Wall Street Journal reports that a regulator working for the Chinese government gave Apple’s latest iPhones a stamp of approval, offering up the final license Cupertino needed to sell its smartphones through China Mobile. The state-owned carrier boasts the most customers in the entire world at 700 million customers, and has never offered any of Apple’s products on its network.
Finalizing a deal with China Mobile would be a huge win for Apple. The company is trailing far behind Samsung and a number of local smartphone-makers in the region, which has quickly transitioned into one of the fastest growing markets for consumer electronics. Apple CEO Tim Cook paid a personal visit to China Mobile’s leadership earlier this year, and it looks like his efforts have paid off.
Apple’s new iPhones are expected to sell on China Mobile as well as China Unicom and China Telecom, which have sold earlier iPhone models in the past. With the final license acquired, the new devices are set to hit Chinese stores on Sept. 20, the same day they launch in the U.S. and around the world. So far, China Mobile itself hasn’t made a final announcement, so we’ll keep you in the loop if and when it does.