Apple on Sunday announced that it has signed a multi-year agreement with China Mobile to sell iPhones in the world's biggest smartphone market. "China is an extremely important market for Apple", Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive, said in a statement. The deal between the two companies has been in the works for years, with delays thought to have been caused by the iPhone maker's demand of sales volume guarantees.

Under the agreement, the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c will be available at China Mobile as well as Apple retail stores across mainland China starting January 17. While pre-registrations will start from this coming Wednesday, pricing details will be announced at a later date.


China Mobile, which is the largest wireless network in the world, currently has approximately 763 million customers. The deal, of which financial details were not disclosed, could add billions of dollars to Apple's revenue. It will not only provide Apple with a much required boost in China but also strengthen the Cupertino-based company in its global war against South Korean rival Samsung Electronics.

The Chinese smartphone market is currently dominated by Android-based mobile phones. Some smartphone makers like Huawei are offering Android phones for even less than $100. It will be interesting to see the price at which Apple offers the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, which are officially priced in China at $871 and $739 respectively.

Image via Reuters/Stringer