The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c have been released on a number of additional carriers since they first debuted in late September, and today Apple announced the list of operators that carry its new iPhones will soon grow again. And while this latest carrier deal only adds one additional name to the list of operators that offer iPhone hardware, it's also one of the biggest agreements that Apple has made to date.
Apple announced today that it has entered into a multi-year agreement with China Mobile that will see the carrier launch both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c in stores on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. China Mobile is the world's largest mobile operator when it comes to both network size and subscriber base, serving more than 760 million users. The iPhone 5s and 5c will support 3G/TD-SCDMA and 4G/TD-LTE connectivity on China Mobile's network. Pricing and availability details for both devices are expected to be announced soon, but Apple did say that pre-registration will kick off on Dec. 25.
While this agreement may not mean much to wireless subscribers in the U.S., adding China Mobile to the list of carriers that stock iPhone hardware is a big deal for Apple. Not only does it mean that there's one more operator stocking the iPhone 5s and 5c, but because the agreement is with China Mobile, the deal marks the first time that more than 760 million people will be able to purchase Apple's mobile hardware. Obviously not every one of those people is going to buy an iPhone, but I'm sure that Apple is pretty pleased with the fact that its products will soon be available to such a large group of consumers, and it'll be interesting to learn what Apple's iPhone sales numbers are like during the first few months of 2014. Until then, Apple's official announcement its deal with China Mobile can be found at the link below.