Apple fights for bigger slice of China smartphone pie
SHANGHAI (AFP) - The world's biggest mobile network is ready to offer Apple's iPhone, but while the US technology giant has declared China its biggest future market, it faces an uphill battle to unseat Samsung and homegrown competitors.
Majority state-owned China Mobile has more than 760 million customers but for years it has declined to provide the iPhone as the two companies argued over commercial terms.
The country's other big mobile telecommunications firms, China Unicom and China Telecom, already stock the product, and China Mobile will join them on Friday.
Analysts expect the move to boost the number of subscribers for China Mobile, which was recently awarded a government licence for 4G (fourth generation) services, and lift Apple's iPhone sales in China by millions - but in all likelihood it is far too late for the US giant to take the lead.