Now that Apple has (finally!) put together a distribution deal with China Mobile, high expectations are in place for iPhone devices in the country. An estimate from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster indicates that iPhones could see huge sales when they are available next year in China.

China Mobile, with more than 700 million subscribers in the country, could sell 17 million total iPhones next year – approximately ten percent of the carrier’s 3G subscriber base, though only two percent of its total subscribers. Still, that could mean a big sales boost  for Apple, equal to more than a month of worldwide sales of iPhones.

Meanwhile, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White paints a bigger picture for Chinese iPhone sales, with an estimated 20 to 24 million units sold through China Mobile.

“We expect a strong marketing push to follow the official announcement, and that is what is critical,” said Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair, following his estimates of 18 to 20 million. “It’s Apple’s job to turn the Chinese consumer away from entrenched brands like Samsung.”

Source: All Things D