The latest version of the Apple iPad is going on sale in China finally. Chinese consumers will be able to purchase the tablet in stores as of July 20.
PCMag.com reports that for those techies who really want to get their hands on the device right away, Apple is accepting in-store reservation requests (at its five retail locations in China) on Thursday morning, July 19, for next-day pickup. Chinese consumers can also purchase the device online as of July 20.
The new iPad (third generation) went on sale in the U.S. and many other countries back in March, but the product rollout in China may have been delayed until Apple settled a trademark lawsuit in the Chinese court system with Proview Technology. About a week ago, Apple agreed to cough up $60 million to resolve the dispute over the iPad name.
According to Reuters, Apple “currently dominates China’s tablet market” even before the latest iPad goes on sale, but the tech giant is evidently getting some competition from Lenvo’s Lepads and from the Samsung Galaxy. Apple has a 70+% market share, however.
PCMag.com adds that “China is now a major market for Apple. In the last few years, Apple earnings there have gone from nothing to $13 billion.” In a first, Apple CEO Tim Cook visited China in March on an “official capacity” and met with government officials about Apple’s plan for expansion in China. In the second quarter of 2012, Apple sales in China, Hong Kong,and Taiwan apparently tripled to $7.9 billion, some 20% of global revenue.
Apple also claims it is taking steps to improve working conditions at the controversial Foxconn manufacturing facility in China.