Apple’s incipient partnership with China Mobile is likely to go beyond iPhones, according to a new report by The Wall Street Journal.
“Apple Inc.’s deal with China Mobile Ltd. to sell iPhones won’t be limited to handsets,” the publication notes, “but will also entail broad cooperation between the two companies, the chairman of the world’s largest carrier said Wednesday.”
China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua’s statement is corroborated by Apple CEO Tim Cook, who said that he is “incredibly optimistic” about the partnership and hinted that other products such as the iPad may become part of it in the future.
“We’ve gotten to know each other … today is a beginning, and I think there are lots more things our companies can do together in the future,” Cook said in a media briefing held ahead of the launch of the iPhone on China Mobile on Friday, Jan. 17.
Guohua said that “multi-millions” of iPhones have been preorderd by China Mobile customers. Indeed, earlier today, The Wall Street Journal reported that some 1.4 million preordered iPhone 5s units have left Foxconn for China Mobile.
The state-owned telecommunication company is the world’s largest mobile phone operator by subscribers. It caters to more than 700 million subscribers, seven times as many as the subscribers of Verizon Wireless, the largest carrier in the U.S.