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July 10, 2012

Apple’s New iPad (Finally) For Sale In China

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online

The new iPad has already been around long enough in the rest of the world to stir up trouble. There was a quick slip up early on when the Consumer Reports made hay over a little “over-warming.” In Australia–and almost the UK–the iPad was found to be incompatible with local 4G networks, a case which ended with a hefty $2.25 million fine to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Now, thanks to a recent scuffle in China that´s just ended, Apple can finally bring the iPad to China.

As stated in their press release, “Apple today announced the new iPad, the third generation of its category defining mobile device, will arrive in China on Friday, July 20. The new iPad features a stunning new Retina display, Apple´s new A5X chip with quad-core graphics and a 5 megapixel iSight® camera with advanced optics for capturing amazing photos and 1080p HD video. The new iPad still delivers the same all-day 10 hour battery life while remaining amazingly thin and light.”

Apple has been focusing their efforts on their Chinese markets in recent years and have been met with some success. In the first 3 months of 2012, for instance, Apple was able to bring in $8 billion in revenue from sales in China.

The new iPad was halted in China due to an on-going legal battle between Apple and a nearly bankrupt display maker, Proview Technology. Apple purchased the iPad trademark from Proview for $55,000 in December 2009, just a month before they announced their new, groundbreaking tablet device. Later that year, Proview sued Apple, saying they bought the iPad trademark under a false name and, as such, they weren´t able to sell the iPad in China. With this legal battle concluded, Apple is finally able to bring their latest iPad to the East.

Chinese iPad shoppers will be able to get their fix via the regular channels: Online, in-store, or with an in-store reservation.

Apple product launches are often met with some light chaos in American stores, and it seems the scene is not much different in China. When the iPhone 4 launched in September 2010, scalpers rushed a store in Beijing, buying as many as 20-30 iPhones at a time. Apple had to temporarily close their Beijing store to get everything sorted.

According to MICGadget.com, a fight had even broken out in the store between scalpers and legitimate iPhone customers. “The iPhone 4 scalpers carried Apple shopping bags after purchasing the phones from the store. The whole place looked like a market,” according to MICgadget.

History nearly repeated itself when the iPhone 4S launched in China, as the Beijing Apple store had to once again close its doors after they sold out of the iPhone 4S. Chinese customers famously pelted the Beijing store with eggs in outrage. This time, scalpers had hired migrant workers to stand in line in their stead to buy up as many iPhones as they could.

To avoid another situation like this, Apple set up a lottery system for iPhone reservations in Hong Kong. Now, any potential iPhone buyer must provide their full details–including Government ID and matching name and ID number. The system then randomly selects who will be able to purchase the iPhone. Apple hasn´t said if they plan to use this lottery system for the new iPad, though it´s very possible they could to avoid any other issues.