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Apple's 'Watershed Day,' Years In the Making (Update 2)

During the CNBC interview, Apple CEO Timothy D. Cook noted it was a "watershed day" for Apple, adding that the company has deep respect for China Mobile, and continuing to heap praise on the world's largest carrier.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Cook said that the first seeds of the deal were sown in 2008, with key meetings taking place in the fall of 2012 and January 2013. The January 2013 meeting was perhaps the most important, as it became public knowledge the two companies were talking. In early January, it was reported Cook and China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua had met on "matters of cooperation," but there was nothing new to report at that time. Cook was spotted in China again in July, but again there was nothing new to report on an official relationship between Apple and China Mobile.

On Dec. 18, it was reported the deal between the two companies was done, as China Mobile started to put up signage on its Web site about pre-ordering the iPhone 5s, only for the official announcement to come a few days later.

It's interesting to see that the world's most valuable company (Apple) is bowing down to China Mobile by heaping massive amounts of praise on the Chinese giant, and referring to the deal as a "courtship" between the two firms. Almost every other time, companies bow down to Apple, simply because a deal with the Cupertino, Calif.-based firm can make or break a company. Not in this case, though.

Apple's deal with China Mobile has been years in the making, as the world's largest carrier and the world's largest company get together. Now is when the fun starts for all parties involved.

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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