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Friday, January 17, 2014, 07:13 am PT (10:13 am ET)

Photos: Customers line up for long-awaited China Mobile launch of Apple's iPhone

Thousands of Chinese consumers descended on China Mobile stores across the Middle Kingdom Friday as the iPhone made its official debut on the world's largest wireless carrier.

iPhone launches on China Mobile


Friday's launch marked the culmination of years of stop-and-start negotiations between Apple and China Mobile, the last of China's three state-owned wireless telecommunications companies to gain access to Cupertino's handset. Joining the crowds to celebrate the occasion in Beijing were Apple CEO Tim Cook and China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua — the duo autographed ten handsets given to contest winners from across the nation.

Neither company has commented thus far on first-day sales, though they are expected to be brisk. China Mobile is said to have received "millions" of iPhone pre-orders following the partnership's announcement.

The photos below were collated by Singapore-based Flickr user jnaina and first spotted by Fortune's Philip Elmer-Dewitt.

iPhone launches on China Mobile


iPhone launches on China Mobile


iPhone launches on China Mobile


iPhone launches on China Mobile


iPhone launches on China Mobile



Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.