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Apple and China Mobile cosy up after "watershed" deal

Apple surfed into 2014 on a high after inking a deal with China Mobile, and the wave of optimism it's been riding shows no signs of crashing soon.

In a media briefing attended by the Wall Street Journal, Apple CEO Tim Cook gushed that he is "incredibly optimistic" about the Cupertino-based company's future in China.

"Today is a beginning, and I think there are lots more things our companies can do together in the future," he said, presumably whilst fondling a wad of dollars.

Exact figures for how many iPhones have been ordered in the Orient have yet to be officially released, but China Mobile pre-orders were lacklustre compared to American interest back in Autumn 2013.

Howver, China Mobile's chairman Xi Guohua claimed that his company's customers have already ordered millions of the handsets.

"As of this weekend we will be selling iPhones in more than 3,000 additional locations," announced Cook. "China Mobile already has a reach to many cities that Apple does not have a reach to."

And no wonder. With more than 760 million customers (that's twice as many customers as there are people in the US) China Mobile covers a lot of ground by lifting the weighty title of world's largest network. Apple is hoping the deal will carve it a slice of that market in a calculated bid to boost worldwide sales.

Still, it may not all be plain sailing. Xiaomi and Huawei are popular local companies that offer Android smartphones as much cheaper alternatives to iPhone handsets. Apple, however, seems unfazed about the competition, stating its target has never been to shift volume.

"Apple has always been about making the best products, not the most products, so that's always our North Star and that's not going to change ever," confirmed cook.