Apple and China Mobile look set to tighten ties following the launch of the iPhone on the carrier's massive network last month. Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Apple CEO Tim Cook says he's "incredibly optimistic" about his company's future with China Mobile following the apparently successful performance of Apple's devices over the past few weeks. According to China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua, "multi-millions" of iPhones have already been ordered by customers in the lead-up to the device's release.
"I think there are lots more things our companies can do together."
The iPhone launch on the world's largest network is expected to provide Apple with a sales boost running into tens of millions of devices. The American manufacturer already has deals in place with China's second- and third-largest carriers. "Today is a beginning," says Cook, "and I think there are lots more things our companies can do together in the future ... China Mobile already has a reach to many cities that Apple does not have a reach to."
As for exact sales figures, both companies are staying quiet for now. The partnership is likely to come under intense scrutiny over the next few weeks; analysts have wildly different forecasts for the deal, with sales estimates for the next year running between 10 and 30 million. The market will look to Tim Cook to give some solid estimates on his expectations for the China Mobile partnership during the company's earnings later this month.