An ad has popped up on China Mobile's own website with the news that pre-orders for the Apple iPhone 5s will be accepted starting on Thursday. This all coincides with the Chinese government giving China Mobile and other carriers in the country, the green light to start using their 4G LTE networks. The ad screams "4G is here!" and includes images of smartphones made by Samsung and Sony besides the iPhone 5s.
The Wall Street Journal tried to pre-order the iPhone 5s from China Mobile's website, but was unable to do so on Monday. A call to one of the carrier's customer representatives confirmed that pre-orders for the Apple iPhone 5s will begin this Thursday. Even with pre-orders for the iPhone starting this week, the carrier wont start 4G LTE service until December 18th. 4G service will be available in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjian, Shenzhen and Nanjing by the end of 2013. Pricing for the Apple iPhone 5s and the new 4G LTE service has not yet been posted.
Analysts expect Apple to get a big boost from iPhone sales to China Mobile subscribers. Even if 1% buy the new Apple iPhone 5s, that will amount to 7.5 million handsets sold.
source: ChinaMobile (translated) via WSJ