It has been announced that Apple and China Mobile have struck a deal, allowing the iPhone 5s and 5c to be launched on the China Mobile’s 4G and 3G networks in the early part of 2014.

Apparently you can pre-register for one of the phones now, with the handsets becoming available from January 17th.

china mobile and Apple

In the press release, Apple CEO Tim Cook said: “China is an extremely important market for Apple and our partnership with China Mobile presents us the opportunity to bring iPhone to the customers of the world’s largest network.”

It has taken time for Apple to gain access to China Mobile’s alleged 760 million customers, with talks between the two companies going on since 2011. It was The Wall Street Journal that reported earlier this month that a deal had finally been reached and finalised.

A recent report from Canalys stated that China, Hong Kong and Taiwan account for 39 percent of the global smartphone market between them. Apple ranked fifth in the region’s smartphone sales but now a deal has been struck, it has been predicted that it could lead to a possible 30 million more iPhones being sold.

The announcement of the deal also said that it will “give a big boost to the development of China’s homegrown 4G/TD-LTE technology.” Pricing details will be revealed at a later date.

[Image via Business Insider]