The new iPad will soon be making its way across the Pacific to China. Or rather, the Chinese government will allow Apple to keep some iPads inside China to sell in stores.
The Chinese government has approved one model of the new iPad, model number A1416, for sale within China. It is likely that the model number is for the Wi-Fi only iPad. The 4G/3G model would need additional approval.
Apparently the Chinese government isn’t bothered by the trademark issues surrounding the iPad name in China.
The Chinese approval of the new iPad is likely why Tim Cook was visiting an Apple Store in Xidan Joy City in Beijing. Reports say that Cook visited China to meet with Apple’s cellular partners in China, China Unicom and China Telecom. There’s a possibility that Cook was talking to the carrier officials about the new iPad.
With the iPad 2, Apple had no trouble releasing the tablet as Wi-Fi only at first. Apple needed certification to sell the 3G model of the iPad 2, so Apple delayed its release by months. The Wi-Fi iPad 2 went on sale in China on May 6, 2011, while the 3G model went on sale in late September.
That’s almost a five month difference between the iPad 2 Wi-Fi and iPad 2 3G releases in China. If Apple was willing to wait then, it would make sense that the company would be willing to wait for the 4G/3G version now.
China is a big market for Apple, one that it doesn’t want to ignore. The next version of OS X, Mountain Lion, will have China-specific social networks built-in. Apple is also working on getting Siri to understand Chinese by the end of 2012.
To almost signify how important China is to Apple, it was a Chinese man who downloaded the 25 billionth app from the iOS App Store.
So no release date but we may end up getting one soon.
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