Apple’s iPhone Finally Hits China

Anticipated iPhone sales in China began Friday

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Qi Heng / Xinhua Press / Corbis

Apple's CEO Tim Cook and China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua attend the issue of iPhone models for 4G in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 17, 2014.

The iPhone has come to China.

Apple’s phone kicked off its much-anticipated sales in the country Friday, following a recent deal the company struck with the China Mobile phone network. The deal to sell the iPhone, one million of which have already been pre-ordered in the country, is a “watershed moment,” CNN reports CEO Tim Cook saying at an Apple store in Beijing.

Analysts estimate Apple can sell up to 24 million iPhones in China this year alone, CNN reports.

“We see this as bringing the world’s best smartphone to the very largest and now the fastest network in China,” Cook told CNBC on Wednesday during his trip to Beijing.

Despite Cook’s appearance at the Apple store, the New York Times reports only a dozen costumers purchased iPhones at that location. Apple faces a steep challenge in competing with cheaper smartphones in China.