This deal has been in the workings for six years and was started by the late Steve Jobs. With the completion of this deal, iPhones are now available through all three of China's state-run cell phone carriers. The deal with boost Apple's sales significantly in the coming year, with preorders through China Mobile numbering over one million already.
This comes at a key moment for Apple as its global smartphone share dropped to 12.1% in the third quarter of 2013 compared to Samsung's 32.1%.
According to analysts, this deal has the potential to boost Apple's iPhone shipments by a whole 15 to 30 million units. In the fourth quarter of 2013, Apple's net profit dropped to $7.5 billion, down from $8.2 billion a year ago. China is the world's largest market for smartphone shipments, and with this deal, Apple now has access to over 700 million new customers.
However, this is just the start for Apple as it will still face stiff competition from Android devices in the Chinese market. According to Apple's China website, the unsubsidized retail price of an iPhone 5S is 5,288 yuan, or $870, compared to an Android phone with similar specs from Xiaomi, a Chinese phone manufacturer, which costs only around $327.
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