updated 10:52 pm EST, Fri December 13, 2013
Shenzhen store given over to iPhone banners, phones, accessories
While again not a confirmation of a formal agreement between China Mobile and Apple, one of the carrier's resellers or retail outlets is already aggressively promoting the forthcoming LTE network and pushing the latest iPhone models as being compatible with it. An American blogger in China going by the name "PRC and Me" spotted and photographed the store in Shenzhen's Futian district, featuring advertising material, accessories and on-display iPhones.
China Mobile store showing iPhone 5c, 5s prices
A "majority of the ad and display space" in the small store had been dedicated to promoting the Apple products, from iPhone advertisements to a video playing of the October Apple presentation that debuted the latest models. "If this is any indication, China Mobile is planning to aggressively promote their new Apple partnership in the hopes of blunting any advances from China Unicom and Telecom," he said.
"PRC and Me" also noted aggressive pricing of around $723 for the iPhone 5s, and $558 for the iPhone 5c -- though in China, these prices would likely come with a contract commitment. He described seeing such Apple-centric materials in a China Mobile store as "a first" and added that such stores are normally dominated by Samsung and other Android handset makers.
Apple and China Mobile have still not made a formal announcement, with the alleged debut of the Chinese LTE "4G" network only days away. For its part, China Mobile has only said that it is still "discussing" the deal with Apple, but various signs have made it obvious that some level of agreement has already been reached. (all photos by PRC and Me)