While it has been rumored that Apple and China Mobile have been in talks, an actual date of when the deal would close has never been revealed, albeit rumored. One of the reasons is apparently due to lower than expected iPhone 5c sales, but in any case it looks like the deal has gone official, according to a press release sent out by Apple not too long ago. Both companies have announced that they have managed to close the deal on Sunday and for those in China under China Mobile’s network, those customers can look forward to getting their hands officially on an iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c come January 17th 2014.
However China Mobile has allowed customers to pre-register their interest by either heading on over to their website or by calling its customer service hotline. According to Tim Cook, “iPhone customers in China are an enthusiastic and rapidly growing group, and we can’t think of a better way to welcome in the Chinese New Year than getting an iPhone into the hands of every China Mobile customer who wants one.” Apple’s deal with China Mobile is expected to increase the number of iPhones sold, with analysts estimating an additional 12 million units for 2014, although with China Mobile’s subscriber base numbering over 750 million, perhaps those numbers could be higher. Either way it looks like Apple has managed to score with some of the largest carriers in the world, especially after landing a deal with Japan’s NTT DOCOMO earlier this year.