China Mobile has started offering the iPhone today to its 763 million subscribers. Tim Cook was there, along with the world’s largest carrier’s Chairman, Xi Guohua, at China Mobile’s headquarters store in Beijing, reports Bloomberg.
The Apple CEO handed out autographed iPhones to a handful of customers and highlighted the importance of the deal for the company.
Considering recent iPhone rumours, Tim Cook was asked whether the next-generation handset would launch with a bigger screen. Of course, he responded that Apple doesn’t talk about future projects, but promised “great things”, which he kept secret because “that way you will be much happier when you see it.”
Having fun in Beijing at the iPhone launch with China Mobile! pic.twitter.com/AqoqLbbeO7
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) January 17, 2014
The launch comes after nearly six years of negotiations. But this didn’t keep iPhone fans outside China Mobile’s network: according to data provided by the carrier, about 45 million iPhones are currently connected. Furthermore, since the iPhone 5s and 5c pre-orders went live, the carrier has racked up 1.3 million pre-orders.
Analysts, however, are concerned about consumer demand: according to data compiled by Bloomberg, 40% of Android phones sold last year had at least 5-inch screens.