Apple has long wanted to expand its footprint in China where it has been losing smartphone market share to competitors. Friday, China Mobile began selling iPhones. Apple CEO, Tim Cook, flew to Beijing this week to kick off the iPhone sales event. Now iPhones will not only be manufactured in China – they’ll also be sold there. Apple’s deal with China Mobile could increase Apple’s Chinese customer base by as many as 700 million people.
“China is a very, very important geography for Apple, not only for its size, but for many other reasons as well,” Cook told reporters Wednesday in Beijing.
“We saw a company in China Mobile that was unlike any other company we had ever dealt with, that had enormous skill and enormous size and enormous scale and enormous talent,” Cook said, according to a transcript published by the Wall Street Journal.
Apple reportedly received over 1 million pre-orders for the iPhone in the lead up to Friday’s kick off sale.