Updated 11:25 AM EST, Sat, Nov 27, 2021

iPhone 5s Release Date in China January 17: Apple Inc., Foxconn Prepare 1.4 Million iPhones for China Mobile Launch, Says Report

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Apple's latest iPhone has been produced more than 1 million times for the world's largest mobile carrier.

According to reports, Apple's main iPhone manufacturer Foxconn shipped approximately 1.4 million iPhone 5s models for China Mobile. Sources familiar with the topic stated the iPhone 5s models were shipped last week ahead of the Jan. 17 launch in China.

The 1.4 million units might not represent the total number of iPhones available for the mobile carrier, but the figure may provide an indication of early demand from potential China Mobile subscribers.

"Shipping 1 million or more iPhones to a single carrier per month is substantial. But we have limited visibility beyond this month as Apple hasn't informed Foxconn of the volume for the next shipment to China Mobile," said a source acquainted with the matter, via the Wall Street Journal.

Apple and China Mobile officially announced their multi-year agreement on Christmas Day 2013. China Mobile customers have been able to pre-register for the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s since Dec. 25 by visiting China Mobile's official website or by calling a customer service hotline.

"Apple's iPhone is very much loved by millions of customers around the world," said China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua in a statement in December. "We know there are many China Mobile customers and potential new customers who are anxiously awaiting the incredible combination of iPhone on China Mobile's leading network."

China Mobile is not the first Chinese mobile carrier to sell the iPhone. China Telecom and China Unicom have sold the latest Apple smartphones since September 2013.

As noted, China Mobile is the world's largest mobile carrier with more than 760 million customers, approximately double the entire United States population.

"Shipping one million or more iPhones to China Mobile every month would be significant to Apple as its average monthly iPhone sales in China is only about 2 million," said Gartner analyst Sandy Shen, noting 18.5 million iPhones were sold during the first three quarters of 2013.

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For the latest updates, follow Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO

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