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People lined up on Thursday evening in Shanghai, Nanjing and other cities to buy the first China Mobile iPhones, launched at midnight as Apple finds access to the services of the world’s largest carrier.
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook was present during the launch.
China Mobile iPhones, the first 4G devices available in China, can support 4G/TD-LTE , 3G/TD-SCDMA and GSM networks, according to the business office of China Mobile in Shanghai.
They also support WCDMA and FDD LTE networks abroad making easier roaming for customers.
China Mobile, which has lagged behind in the 3G competition, received its 4G license from the Industry and Information Technology Ministry last December.
According to data from research firm Canalys, Apple holds fifth place in China’s smartphone market in the third quarter of 2013.
Friday’s launch could be the much-awaited breakthrough for Apple Inc’s fortunes in China’s booming smartphone market.
By the end of 2013, China Mobile had 4G services in 16 cities. By the end of 2014, it aims to expand the network to at least 340 cities, more than half the cities in China.