China Mobile Ltd (中國移動), the world’s largest mobile phone company by users, said pre-orders for Apple Inc’s iPhone have reached about 1 million units ahead of sales in the carrier’s outlets that start at the end of this week.
China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua (奚國華) and Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook met in Beijing yesterday and the companies have entered into a multi-year agreement with “broad potential” for future cooperation, the carrier said in an e-mailed statement.
Details of the agreement were not disclosed.
China Mobile and Apple reached a distribution agreement for the iPhone last month after six years of negotiations, as both seek to stem declining share in the market of 1.2 billion wireless subscribers.
The carrier began taking pre-orders for the iPhone online from Dec. 25 and in-store sales begin tomorrow.
China Mobile released details on its iPhone packages yesterday that show the carrier will offer a free Apple mobile only with its most expensive data plan. China Mobile users must commit to a two-year contract with a monthly minimum of 588 yuan (US$97) to be eligible for a fully subsidized iPhone, the carrier said.
The iPhone without a contract costs 5,288 yuan, it said. China Mobile users on a two-year contract who pay 188 yuan a month can get the iPhone at a reduced price of 3,788 yuan, according to the statement.