Following an earlier leak from its subsidiary, China Mobile plans finally to take preorders for iPhones, starting Thursday in Shanghai, an advertisement spotted on its official website by the Wall Street Journal says.
China Mobile Shanghai’s website, running the “4G is here!” slogan, invited potential customers to preorder the iPhone 5S and other smartphones from Samsung Electronics Co. and Sony Corp. that support the company’s new 4G mobile network.
The deal has been rumoured for years now, but it was delayed due to incompatibility issues. But the world’s largest wireless carrier will officially launch its 4G network on December 18th, bringing the two players together.
Earlier last week, contradictory reports have surfaced: the first one claimed that Apple has inked a deal with China Mobile, but the latter didn’t comment on the issue, triggering reports that the highly anticipated deal wasn’t signed after all.
While there is no official comment on the deal, WSJ journalists have spoken to a China Mobile customer representative, who confirmed that the carrier will indeed take iPhone preorders starting Thursday, December 12, 2013.
“Customers can begin to preorder for our new 4G services from Dec. 12 through the company’s website and some dedicated branches in Shanghai. But we will only start providing commercial 4G services after Dec. 18,” the customer services operator said.
According to China Mobile’s website, the carrier will turn the switch on for its 4G network in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjian, Shenzhen, and Nanjing by the end of 2013.
The China Mobile–Apple deal has been one of the most anticipated agreements of the year, as the Cupertino company has highlighted numerous times how important China and Chinese customers are to the company.