Cites a single unnamed source "familiar with the situation."

By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
December 5, 2013

FORTUNE — Is this the news Apple AAPL investors have been waiting so many years to hear?

WSJ: Apple, China Mobile Sign Deal to Offer iPhone

Without an official announcement or independent verification it’s hard to say. The fact that it comes from the
Wall Street Journal
speaks well for the report. The fact that it hangs on a single, unnamed source… not so much.

Still, for the record, if Apple has indeed signed an iPhone distribution agreement with China Mobile CHL , it’s a big deal.

As of October, the world’s largest mobile carrier had 759 million subscribers, a base of potential customers more than twice the size of all the U.S. carriers combined.

In pre-market trading Thursday, Apple’s shares briefly touched $577.38, $12.38 (2.2%) above Wednesday’s close.

UPDATE: Apple had no comment. A China Mobile spokeswoman told Reuters that a deal had not been reached, and that the two companies were still negotiating.

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