Apple is reportedly preparing to ship new low-cost iPhones to China Mobile in a sign that the company has reached an agreement to supply the world's biggest mobile carrier.
The Wall Street Journal reported the news just days before Apple is expected to unveil new iPhone models including a cheaper version of its flagship model to better compete with rival Samsung in emerging markets.
Apple has been trying for years to strike a deal with China Mobile, the world's largest mobile phone operator with 740 million subscribers.
Apple is only the seventh largest smartphone seller in China, lagging behind Samsung and a raft of domestic manufacturers. Its third-quarter sales in China fell 14 per cent compared to a year earlier to 4.6 billion dollars ($A5 billion).