1. ITV Report

Apple secures deal to bring the iPhone to China Mobile

Apple describes China as "an extremely important market" for its iPhone brand. Photo: Bay Area News Group/ABACA/Press Association Images

US computer giant Apple claims it has reached a deal to bring the iPhone to China Mobile, the world's biggest phone carrier.

The deal could significantly boost sales of the iPhone in China.

The iPhone, while popular around the world, has faced tough competition in recent years from cheaper smartphones running Google's Android software. Collectively, Android phones far outsell Apple's iPhone.

Demand for iPhones, once hugely popular in China, have slumped in the country as lower-priced rival smartphones from Samsung and Chinese companies entered the market.

People queue outside the Apple shop in London in September to purchase the new iPhone. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The iPhone 5s and 5c will go on sale in Apple stores and China Mobil stores next month, and customers can register for phones starting on Christmas Day.

Financial details of the proposed agreement have yet to be removed.

State-owned China Mobile has more than 750 million mobile accounts.

Jimmy Gunawan was first person to get his hands on the iPhone 5 after queuing for 20 hours in September. Credit: DEAN LEWINS/AAP/Press Association Images