Yesterday we reported that Apple would be tripling their Apple Stores in China. The other news is that Apple met with Mobile China that we reported in December that Apple has been secretly working with them for four years now. The problem, as we reported, concerned China Mobile's upgrade to 4G networks. The transition to the new standard may now have been achieved as it appears that a formal deal may have been formalized between Apple and China Mobile.
Taiwan News is reporting today that China Mobile released a statement saying that chairman Xi Guohua and Apple's CEO Tim Cook discussed "bilateral cooperation," and that the "release of other details was barred by a confidentiality agreement between the companies." Their framing of that statement indicates that a deal was struck.
That's also likely why Cook said that China would become Apple's largest market on this same business trip. Securing a deal with Mobile China would definitely make China their number one market over the next year or two. Our December report showed that Mobile China would have a third of their market on 4G in the coming year which works out to a potential target of 233 million subscribers that Apple would be able to sell into. That's a market that's double the current US smartphone subscriber base.