Technology firm Apple has signed a deal with the world’s biggest mobile phone network, China Mobile.
It means iPhones will soon be on sale in the company’s shops throughout the Chinese mainland.
The country’s two other major mobile networks already offer iPhones to their subscribers, but following the award to China Mobile of a 4G licence, the company can offer all iPhone functions.
The carrier currently has 760 million customers and it estimates it already has about 45 million iPhone users, using 2G wireless.
It’s predicted to sell 17 million handsets in 2014.
China likes status brands, and Apple is seen as a luxury product.
So the company probably won’t try to secure market share by cutting prices.
It doesn’t have to be number one to make large amounts of money; it isn’t number one.
The top seller of smartphones in China is Samsung, followed by Lenovo.
But, in September, iPhone sales rocketed to 12 percent, putting Apple in third place.
It followed the launch of the 5c, a cheaper version of the 5s.
The tie-up between the companies is being seen as a much needed boost for Apple in its second-largest market.
The financial terms of the deal have not been made public.
China Mobile will begin registering orders for iPhones from the 25th of December.