Analyst: iPad release may follow iPhone debut on China Mobile

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The iPhone is expected to land on China Mobile in the coming weeks, giving Apple access to the carrier’s 759 million customers. After the iPhone 5s and 5c launch on December 18, the next Apple devices to land on the carrier will likely be the iPad Air and the iPad mini, says analyst Chris Whitmore of Deutsche Bank.

The news of a final deal between Apple and China Mobile has analysts chomping at the bit. The potential boost to iPhone sales is significant with Apple possibly selling 20 million phones through China Mobile in the first year of availability, says Whitmore. And it’s not just the iPhone that has analysts excited, it’s the potential for the iPad, too.

Once the iPhone is firmly established on the carrier, Apple may look to bring the cellular versions of its tablets to China Mobile customers as well. There is no estimated timetable for such a launch, and the idea of a China Mobile iPad is still speculation, but you have to admit that it makes sense. Apple has used this “iPhone first, iPad next” launch strategy with other carriers, such as Sprint in the US, and is likely to use it again with China Mobile.

It could be a banner year for Apple in 2014. Whitmore predicts Apple’s stock will climb upward as the company releases new iPhone and iPad models next year. Besides incremental updates to the current models, Whitmore predicts Apple will release an iPhone and an iPad with larger displays. The company will also add additional carrier partners, further extending its reach internationally.

[Via AppleInsider]