Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook, in his first trip to China since taking the reins from late company co-founder Steve Jobs, met with Chinese government officials on Monday to discuss plans to further expand operations in the country.
China's growing tech-savvy middle class has contributed to a sharp rise in mobile device sales over the past year, and new data reveals that the country has overtaken the U.S. to become the world's largest market for iOS and Android device activations for the first time.
Despite not being an official Apple partner carrier, China Mobile announced on Monday that a spike of 5 million activations since October has brought the total number of iPhone users on its network to over 15 million following the launch of the iPhone 4S and a fix that allows the device to operate on the carrier's 3G network.
Apple's newest partner in China is expected to sell 3-5 million iPhones this year, boosting Apple's momentum during the summer while the release of OS X Mountain Lion will reinforce the iPhone's halo effect over Mac sales, writes analyst Ben Reitzes of Barclays Capital.
China's third-largest wireless operator has announced that it will begin offering Apple's iPhone 4S in mainland China on March 9, breaking up rival China Unicom's exclusive claim to the iPhone in the country.
China's third-largest wireless carrier confirmed on Monday the imminent launch of the iPhone 4S on its network and suggested that it could begin selling the device as early as the end of February or the beginning of March.
Investment bank Morgan Stanley believes Apple will partner up with both China Telecom and China Mobile "over the next year" to make its iPhone available on all three Chinese carriers, a move that could bring incremental sales of as many as 40 million units next calendar year.
One of the final obstacles to the arrival of Apple's iPhone on the China Telecom network has been removed with the news that a Chinese regulatory agency has granted a network access license for the handset.
The iPhone could see huge sales numbers in Asia as the region's burgeoning smartphone market has been largely untapped, with only about 22 percent of carriers selling Apple's handset, according to a new analysis.
The number of high-speed 3G data subscribers in China continues to grow at a significant pace month to month, putting the nation on track to have 125 million 3G customers by year's end as anticipation of Apple's next-generation iPhone swells.
Both China Unicom and China Telecom, two of the largest mobile carriers in the world, will sell Apple's fifth-generation iPhone as soon as this quarter, with the largest prize — China Mobile — to follow, according to a new report.
Apple revealed Tuesday that its Greater China regional revenue saw a six-fold increase year over year to $3.8 billion, even while company executives admitted that they are barely "scratching the surface" of the Chinese market.