It appears that China Mobile, the world’s largest wireless carrier with 700 million subscribers, will start carrying the iPhone next month.
As The Wall Street Journal points out, China Mobile’s website now teases a “new brand” for its upcoming 4G network. That new brand will debut at the carrier’s global partners conference on December 18. It’s been widely reported that Apple will bring the iPhone to China Mobile very soon, and it looks like the stars have finally aligned for a launch next month.
Why is this a big deal?
China Mobile is the world’s largest carrier, but perhaps more importantly, it’s in China, where Apple is getting walloped by Android devices in terms of market share. In fact, according to Gartner, four out of every five smartphones sold in China run on Android.
Emerging markets like China, India, Indonesia, etc. are very important to smartphone makers looking to grow. People in those countries are just starting to make the transition from regular cell phones to smartphones. Part of the reason for that is smartphones are now much more affordable, especially Android phones.
If Apple wants to grow its iPhone business, China Mobile is a great carrier to partner with.