China Mobile Sells 1 Million iPhones In February

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China is an important market for Apple. Apple’s recent partnership with China Mobile Ltd, one of the worlds largest mobile carriers, has helped the Cupertino-based company sell over one million iPhones in the emerging market in February, according to the Wall Street Journal.

This is important for two reasons. China Mobile has a user base of 776 million subscribers that now has the option of buying an iPhone. As smartphone competition ramps up in more established markets, Apple now has a gateway into securing more sales for its popular phone.

While Mobile China Ltd is China’s largest mobile carrier, the announcement of selling one million iPhones came on the heels of the mobile carrier reporting its first decline in annual earnings in more than a decade. The decline is due to investing in upgrading its network and offering handset subsidies to battle new and established competition.

China Mobile Ltd began offering the iPhone in mid-January. In December, the mobile carrier launched a speedier, fourth-generation mobile service. China Mobile Ltd is hoping to attract new customers to the carrier by selling the hugely popular iPhone.

We added 1.34 million new 4G users in February and most of them are iPhone users. We are happy with the progress as we are still building our 4G network and the coverage is only available in some major cities,” China Mobile Chairman Xi Gouhua told the Wall Street Journal.

Analyst Timothy Acuri of Cowen and Company expects China Mobile to boost iPhone sales in China from 20 million to 30 million in 2014.

Many in the industry feel that Apple has lost its way as of late, questioning Tim Cook’s ability to have the vision for innovation that previous-CEO Steve Jobs held. With the iPhone 6 and possible smartwatch looming, the iPhone’s growth in China can only be seen as a good thing for the company.