Apple brings iPhone 5s, 5c to China Mobile

The Chinese telco giant will be offering Apple's latest iPhones on its 3G and 4G networks from the beginning of 2014.

A joint statement today by Apple and China Mobile will see the iPhones 5s and 5c being brought to the Chinese telecommunications company's 3G and 4G networks early next year.

Both models will be available from both Apple and China Mobile stores starting January 17, 2014, with pre-registration opening on Christmas Day.

"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 CEO Tim Cook said on Monday.

"iPhone customers in China are an enthusiastic and rapidly growing group, and we can't think of a better way to welcome in the Chinese New Year than getting an iPhone into the hands of every China Mobile customer who wants one."

China Mobile has more than 1.2 million 2G/GSM, 3G/TD-SCDMA, and 4G/TD-LTE base stations across China, with more than 760 million customers.

"iPhone on China Mobile will support our 4G/TD-LTE and 3G/TD-SCDMA networks, providing customers with high-speed mobile service," Xi Guohua, chairman of China Mobile, said.

The telco giant currently has 4G services available in 16 cities across the nation, including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou. By the end of next year, it intends to complete its deployment of over half a million 4G base stations.

Plans and pricing for the new iPhones will be announced closer to availability. The iPhones 5s and 5c were launched in most Western markets on September 20, selling 9 million units on the first weekend alone.