A screenshot from China Mobile’s website, advertisng the 12th December preorder date.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that whilst China Mobile’s 4G services do not launch until the 18th, the carrier will open preorders for the iPhone from this Thursday, the 12th of December.

The information is sourced from a customer representative conversation the Journal had with the carrier, after attempting to preorder an iPhone today, after the Journal found a new advertisement for China Mobile’s 4G service on its website (shown above).

The representative said that iPhone orders begin on Thursday.

“Customers can begin to preorder for our new 4G services from Dec. 12 through the company’s website and some dedicated branches in Shanghai. But we will only start providing commercial 4G services after Dec. 18,” the customer services operator said.

China Mobile will offer the iPhone alongside a new pricing plan, although details of the new offer are currently not known. China Mobile’s website says 4G coverage will reach Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjian, Shenzhen and Nanjing by the end of the year.

Analysts are expectantly awaiting the iPhone’s launch on the worlds-biggest carrier, with some estimating that the partnership will be attributable for about 38 million of Apple’s total iPhone sales in 2014.