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China Mobile Accidentally Took iPhone 5S Pre-Orders Ahead Of Official Announcement

China Mobile Accidentally Took iPhone 5S Pre-Orders Ahead Of Official Announcement

China Mobile (NYSE: CHL) seems to have jumped the gun in accepting pre-orders for Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) latest smartphone.

According to CNBC, the Chinese carrier -- which is the largest in the world with more than 700 million users -- allowed local customers to pre-order the device, register their names and secure a deal for 4G data.

After CNBC questioned China Mobile about the pre-order campaign, the carrier changed the pre-order page from a specific iPhone 5S campaign to a more generic (not Apple specific) promotion.

The carrier also claimed that they are still in negotiations with Apple but that a deal has not yet been reached.

This is not the first time that signs of a China Mobile pre-order campaign appeared online. One of the firm's subsidiaries made a similar mistake and began taking pre-orders earlier this month.

As of this writing, there are no signs of the iPhone on China Mobile's English website.

Separately, CNBC reported that Apple's smartphone market share has quadrupled in China. This growth spurt occurred in October, long before China Mobile accidentally began taking pre-orders for an iPhone it cannot officially sell.

In September, Apple held just three percent of China's lucrative smartphone market. The company's share jumped to 12 percent in October, thanks to the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.

Both of those phones were released in China on September 20, the same day that they arrived in the United States and other major markets. This marked the first time that Apple sold a new iPhone in China on the day of its American release.

Related: China Mobile Announces 4G TD-LTE License in China

If Apple can raise its market share without China Mobile, it's easy to see why investors are so eager for the two companies to come together.

China Mobile is expected to make an announcement next Wednesday, December 18.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: Apple china mobile CNBC iPhone 5C iPhone 5SNews Tech Best of Benzinga


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