Apple has instructed Foxconn to add China Mobile to the list of carriers set to receive shipments of the iPhone 5C, according to a new report.
The iPhone 5C, a budget version of Apple’s flagship product, is on its way to China Mobile, according to people who are familiar with Apple’s plans.
Cited by the Wall Street Journal, these sources reportedly informed that “Apple Inc. is preparing to ship iPhones to China Mobile Ltd. […] an arrangement that would significantly increase Apple's distribution in the world's biggest smartphone market.”
Despite being headquartered in Cupertino, California, Apple isn’t shipping these phones all the way from America, but rather from its manufacturing partners in China.
One of the people reportedly said that “Apple has asked Foxconn, its contract manufacturing partner, to add China Mobile to the list of carriers slated to receive a new low-cost iPhone,” according to the report.
WSJ adds that, although these distribution plans seem confirmed, it isn’t clear whether the two parties have signed any official agreement regarding the exact shipping date.
Unlike the iPhone 5S, which is a higher-cost upgrade also planned for this year’s refresh, the iPhone 5C is said to be nothing more than an iPhone 5 encased in plastic.
Apple is also throwing in multiple color options and a new shipping box akin to the iPod touch. The lower price is actually the phone’s key feature, and Apple hopes to attract as many buyers as possible from its rumored deal with China Mobile.
The biggest wireless operator in the country with over 700 million subscribers to its network, China Mobile, has been seeking a deal with Apple for years, but the two companies only recently reached an agreement on the marketing and distribution terms.
Apple stands to gain a lot of adopters from this lucrative deal, but it still remains to be confirmed at tomorrow’s special event.