The world’s largest wireless carrier, with more than 700 million wireless subscribers, will begin offering the iPhone later this month, The Wall Street Journal said Wednesday evening. The carrier has so far not offered Apple’s iPhone because it ran its own proprietary TD-SCDMA network, though with approval for its 4G network sealed, it opens up support for Apple’s products.
It’s huge news for Apple, which has so far struggled to gain traction in China where local Android makers are dominating the market with Samsung. Apple now has the potential to grab a slice of China Mobile’s subscribers, though the high cost of its phones will still be a concern. Trefis, a research firm, told The Wall Street Journal that is estimates China Mobile will sell about 20 million iPhones in 2014. To put the size of China Mobile’s subscriber base in comparison, The Wall Street Journal noted that it has roughly seven times more subscribers than Verizon Wireless, the largest carrier in the United States.
The iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5s are expected to launch on December 18, the same day that China Mobile teased a new brand would be available. We have a feeling both phones will become even more popular in the coming years, as Apple drops the price of those devices, making them more appealing to the Chinese market.