Ive at iPhone 5 event (Getty Images)

(Image via Getty Images)

Ahead of the launch of the iPhone on China Mobile on January 17th, Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with the Wall Street Journal and other publications for a brief interview. Cook hints that this iPhone deal is only the beginning of a longer-term partnership between Apple and China’s largest mobile carrier:

Speaking in a small media briefing to Chinese media and The Wall Street Journal, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said he is “incredibly optimistic” about the outcome of the cooperation with the Chinese carrier.

“We’ve gotten to know each other….today is a beginning, and I think there are lots more things our companies can do together in the future,” Mr. Cook said.

Cook is likely referring to future generations of the iPhone, and other products such as the iPad, appearing on China Mobile’s network in the future. Cook also shares that half a million of the App Store developers are from China:

Mr. Cook said Apple wants to reach as many Chinese consumers as possible by offering iPhones through China Mobile, and added that the country has more than half a million people writing apps for the U.S. company’s iOS operating system.

“Apple has always been about making the best products, not the most products, so that’s always our North Star and that’s not going to change ever,” said Mr. Cook.

“Multi-millions” of iPhones have already been pre-ordered through China Mobile, according to a statement from China Mobile’s Chairman in the same interview. Earlier today, the WSJ reported that over one million iPhone 5s units were shipped from Foxconn to China Mobile. 

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