China approves the new iPhones for China Mobile’s networks, so it’s pretty much official

China Mobile is the world’s largest operator. They have over 700 million subscribers, which is more than double the population of the United State of America. The thing is, they’ve never offered their customers the iPhone. Why? Probably because they were playing hardball with Apple, but more importantly, they use network standards and spectrum bands that aren’t exactly in tune with the rest of the world. For as long as the iPhone 5s has been rumored, there have also been rumors about it being the first iPhone to launch on China Mobile.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Chinese regulators have, for the very first time, approved an iPhone that’s compatible with China Mobile’s network. So while Apple didn’t necessarily announce that China Mobile will get the iPhone at yesterday’s event, it’s all but confirmed at this point.

Will the iPhone do well in China? Of course it will, but saying “China” is a bit disingenuous since it’s a country with over 1.3 billion people. Some of those people are impoverished and can hardly feed themselves, while others are millionaires splashing their wealth around in Beijing. In other words, it’s like America, only bigger. Way bigger.

Now we wait for the official press release.