China Mobile to carry iPhone

China Mobile Ltd said on its official Sina-Weibo microblog account that it will begin taking orders for Apple Inc’s iPhones from December 25.

The move was announced by China Mobile, the world’s biggest mobile carrier by subscriber numbers, on Monday.

It came after Apple said the pair had agreed a long-awaited deal for the Chinese carrier to supply iPhones, boosting Apple in its global rivalry with South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

Apple Inc on Sunday announced a multiyear deal with China Mobile to bring its iPhone product lines to China, starting January 17, 2014.

The terms of the deal were not announced, but Apple said details of pricing and availability for its iPhone 5S and 5C lines would be available at a later date.

“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,” Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said in a statement.

China Mobile has about 760 million customers, the company said in a statement.

Shares of Apple on Friday closed at $549.02 while U.S. shares of China Mobile ended at $51.63.

(Reporting by Ryan Vlastelica, editing by G Crosse; Reporting by Fayen Wong; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

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China Mobile to carry iPhone