Apple CEO Tim Cook sat for a rare interview on Wednesday, alongside China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua. The interview with CNBC saw Cook refer to the iPhone deal with China Mobile as a “watershed moment,” and also saw him praise the carrier’s “very fast network.”
Both Cook and Xi spoke with CNBC, and though the two parties revealed little, China Mobile’s chairman did disclose that the carrier had netted 1.2 million total preorders for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c as of Jan. 13. Both devices are set to launch on China Mobile this Friday.
Cook spoke of the “deep respect” that both he and Apple have for China Mobile. Apple’s CEO said he was “incredibly impressed” with the carrier so far. Neither Cook or Xi shared estimates of how many iPhones they believe could be sold via the Apple/China Mobile partnership in the first year.
“We see this as bringing the world’s best smartphone to the very largest and now the fastest network in China.” – Tim Cook
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal this week, Cook hinted that the two companies could expand their partnership to include other devices, such as cellular-capable iPads, as Apple has done with wireless carriers in other countries.