iPhone 5C
This new China Mobile deal could allow Apple to sell about 15 million to 20 million more iPhones

Apple will be able to grab a whole new mobile market starting next month thanks to a new deal with China Mobile.

China Mobile, which is China's largest telecom with about 760 million customers, and Apple have signed a multi-year agreement that will make the iPhone available through the carrier. 

More specifically, China Mobile will start offering the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S starting January 17, 2014. 

"Apple has enormous respect for China Mobile and we are excited to begin working together. China is an extremely important market for Apple and our partnership with China Mobile presents us the opportunity to bring iPhone to the customers of the world's largest network," said Tim Cook, Apple CEO. "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."

This is pretty big for Apple's iPhone, which is currently in fith place in China when it comes to market share. This new deal could allow Apple to sell about 15 million to 20 million more iPhones, according to ZDNet

At the same time, pricing will play a major role in how well the iPhone sells via China Mobile. Out of the two latest iPhone releases, the iPhone 5C is the cheapest with an off-contract starting price of $550 (which is not as cheap as many thought it would be). China's mobile customers don't have subsidized pricing like U.S. carriers, so they will have to pay higher unsubsidized prices. If Apple prices the iPhones too high, it could turn some potential customers away.

Pricing and availability for the iPhone 5C and 5S will be available at a later date, according to Apple and China Mobile. 

However, China Mobile's rollout of 4G LTE connectivity could help Apple wrangle in some extra customers. Apple's iPhones are expected to support both 3G and 4G standards, making it a very flexible device that can offer higher speeds. 

At any rate, Apple is in a much better place with China now than it was a year ago. At this time last year, Apple fell to sixth place in China's mobile market. 

Source: Market Watch

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