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iPhone 5S, 5C pre-orders open at China Mobile following Apple Inc. (AAPL) deal

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Apple Inc. and the largest mobile carrier in the world, China Mobile announced its long-awaited deal Sunday. The Chinese carrier will begin carrying the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C on Jan. 17.

According to USA Today Monday (Dec. 23), in pre-market trading, shares of Apple Inc. stock rose to $549.02, up from $544.46. Industry analysts forecast that through 2014, the deal will result in a growth of earnings per share.

Recent reports said the deal with China mobile could result in up to $3 billion in revenue growth for Apple Inc. in 2014. "There's pretty big pent-up demand on China Mobile for the iPhone, Creative Strategies analyst Ben Bajarin said.

The greatest challenge Apple will face in in the Chinese market is competition from rival phone manufacturers that offer less costly handsets. As the New York Times reports, Android smartphones already have a solid customer base in the Chinese market. Huawei, Coolpad and ZTE offer affordable Android phones for no more than $100. Apple did not provide pricing information for the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C for China Mobile’s network.

“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,” Apple Inc. CEO, Tim Cook said in a news release. China Mobile will begin accepting online pre-orders for the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C on its official website and customer service hotline on Dec. 25.

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