Apple gains foothold in China

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Apple CEO Tom Cook's days of worrying about market penetration in China may be coming to an end. First, China Mobile began taking orders for iPhones last week; then Forbes reported at least one of the wireless provider's brick and mortar stores are sporting full-blown iPhone and iPad displays, complete with marketing materials and pricing information. Now, Reuters says an official announcement of a deal between Apple and China Mobile could come as early as this week.

The possible deal hasn't come easy for Apple. Following a scathing accusation earlier this year of shoddy repair service by China's Central Television, Apple was forced to give a public apology to the nation and change some of its warranty policies to boot. By August, Apple had lost nearly half of China's smartphone market.

Cook's optimism that things would turn around seems to have paid off, though. According to Reuters, a deal of this nature could "[net] Apple 759 million potential new customers that could generate $3 billion in 2014 revenue, or nearly one-quarter of Apple's projected revenue growth in its current fiscal year."

If Apple has indeed secured a deal with China Mobile, some say it's possible the company could sell more than 38 million units by the end of 2014. However, market columnist Brian Solomon says that figure is a moving target and the real estimate could actually be as low as 10 million. So many factors come into play--affordability, infrastructure/device compatibility, etc--that hard numbers are nearly impossible to forecast with much accuracy.

For more:
- check out what the analysts think
- read the Reuter's article

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