China Mobile, the world's largest carrier, added 23.3 million new 4G users last month, reaching 335.6 million 4G subscribers in total. That's a 214 percent increase over the previous year, and suggests that predictions of collapse in iPhone growth due to economic troubles in China are far fetched.
Reports from the People's Republic of China indicate that Apple is preparing to introduce iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus on October 10, following final approval from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
About half of all of the 2.8 million 4G subscribers on China Mobile's network are iPhone users, giving Apple a strong position as the world's largest wireless provider looks to expand its high-speed mobile presence.
Apple on Monday announced it has started sales of TD-LTE equipped iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display models in China, specifically granting China Mobile users access to next-generation 4G high-speed mobile Internet.
Most of the 1.34 million subscribers on China Mobile's nascent 4G TD-LTE network are using iPhones, the company said on Thursday, but investors hoping for a more detailed breakdown will be left disappointed as the carrier declined to elaborate further.
In most countries, when Apple releases a new iPhone model the handset quickly becomes a hot-seller as older models fall by the wayside. The opposite is true in China, according to fresh data from research firm Mixpanel.
China Mobile added more high-speed data customers in January than at any other point in its history, bringing on more than 14 million new 3G subscribers in the company's first month as one of Apple's official carrier partners.
After years of speculation and rumors, the iPhone finally launched on the world's largest wireless carrier China Mobile on Friday, with Apple CEO Tim Cook and China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua on hand to personally pass out the first units to customers.
With the iPhone just days away from arriving on China Mobile, analysts' relief at the long-rumored deal's consummation is paired with curiosity about what concessions Apple may have made to strike an accord with the world's largest wireless carrier.
In an effort to drum up enthusiasm among investors for his company's new agreement with China Mobile, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook participated in a rare TV interview on Wednesday, sharing the spotlight with Xi Guohua, the chairman of the world's largest wireless carrier.
According to China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua, demand for the carrier's iPhone looks to be strong as orders are already in the multi-millions, prompting Apple CEO Tim Cook to say he is "incredibly optimistic" about the new partnership.
When Apple reports its holiday 2013 earnings in a few weeks, investors are likely to be focused on the future, analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray believes, as the upcoming launch of the iPhone on China Mobile takes center stage.
Though the Chinese market remains a major focus for Apple, particularly with the upcoming launch of the iPhone on China Mobile, new data suggests that overall smartphone sales growth has been slowing from its previous red-hot pace.
Apple officially announced its agreement with China Mobile today. The world's largest carrier and most significant remaining mobile operator to not sell iPhones will begin taking preregistrations on December 25 and bring iPhone 5s and 5c models to retail stores for sale on January 17.