AAPL Climbs more than $18 on News of China Mobile Deal

Apple's stock price has been climbing ever since it looked certain that it had struck a deal to offer the iPhone through China Mobile, but once the official announcement came out on Sunday, the company's shares shot up over US$18 from their Friday close at $549.02. The deal means the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C will be available on the world's largest cell service network with over 760 million subscribers -- more than the population of the United States.

AAPL Climbs on news of China Mobile iPhone dealAAPL Climbs on news of China Mobile iPhone deal

At the time of the official announcement, China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua said,

We know there are many China Mobile customers and potential new customers who are anxiously awaiting the incredible combination of iPhone on China Mobile's leading network. We are delighted that iPhone on China Mobile will support our 4G/TD-LTE and 3G/TD-SCDMA networks, providing customers with high-speed mobile service.

China Mobile added the iPhone to its website ahead of the official announcement, and rumors that a deal was coming began circulating ahead of that. So far, the carrier has said pre-orders will start on December 20 and the iPhone will be available on January 17, but hasn't announced pricing.

Apple already had deals in place with China Unicom and China Telecom, so by adding China Mobile the company gained access to most of China's smartphone buying population.

With a customer base that's larger than the population of most countries, Apple has the potential to boost iPhone sales and that's good news for share holders. The company's stock climbed more than $18 in pre-market trading Monday morning on the prospect of more iPhone sales even though pre-orders don't start for another two days.

Apple closed on Friday at $549.02, up 4.56 for the day. The company' stock is trading in the Monday morning pre-market at $567.57, up 18.55 (3.38%).