iPhone 5s Gold, Black, Back

China Mobile is preparing to kick off sales of the iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5s, the first iPhones it has ever sold, this Friday, Jan. 17. In preparation for the big day, Apple’s suppliers are reportedly shipping a huge amount of iPhone 5s handsets to China Mobile. According to The Wall Street Journal, Foxconn recently shipped an order of 1.4 million iPhone 5s units to China Mobile; the number of iPhone 5c units was not revealed.

Of course, shipments don’t always mean sales, but we can clearly see that Apple is making sure China Mobile has enough supply on hand to meet demand ahead of time. According to The Wall Street Journal, China Mobile has been taking pre-orders for both devices since Dec. 25. In the United States, the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s sold more than 9 million units during the first weekend they were on sale.

The landscape is  bit different in China, however, where both phones have been available from other carriers for months now, and where local Android makers have a lion’s share of the smartphone market. Meanwhile, competing carriers have already started to cut the prices of both phones in anticipation of China Mobile’s launch.

Hopefully Apple provides some context to sales after the phone’s first weekend on China Mobile, though we aren’t expecting that right now.