Apple underlined the importance it sees in the Chinese market today by announcing that it is launching the iPad on Friday, this week.
According to their announcement the WiFi only version is the only model they plan to sell. The 16, 32 and 64GB models will retail at CNY3988, CNY4788 and CNY5588 respectively. Making the prices comparable to most other overseas Apple iPad prices. i.e. Slightly more expensive than in the US.
Typically countries like Thailand, which have a very loyal Apple Customer base, get new products before China. And yet they are still waiting for the iPad, while grey importers bring the tablets into the country for massive profits.
Part of the reason for this change is Apple seeing China as a market important enough to build two flagship stores in. Something that few other Asian countries have, most relying on Apple Authorised Resellers or Apples own website.
Apple also has big plans to expand its iPhone market in China, and the lack of a 3G model of the iPad seems to be because of ongoing negotiations related to government censorship and device capabilities as much as it is part of negotiations with Chinese mobile carriers.
In other news Thailand is to finally get the iPhone 4 officially on a choice of carriers. Previously, Thailand’s biggest telecoms company, True, had a monopoly in Thailand for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4. But later this month their rival carrier AIS will also have the iPhone 4 available on contract in Thailand.
Are you based in Thailand or China and excited by this news? Have your say in the comments…