New iPad launch receives muted response in China
BEIJING: After a 4-month wait, the new iPad officially went on sale in China on Friday, but response has been lukewarm. The scene outside the Apple store in downtown Beijing is a stark contrast to when the iPhone 4S launched a few months ago.
Then, the store had to shut down due to the overwhelming response. But for the new iPad, there were no overnight queues or even a commotion when the store’s doors opened at 8 am.
An Apple spokesperson said the launch was the first time the company made it compulsory for all buyers in China to place their orders online a day before a product launch.
The company even assigned different timings for buyers to come to the store and collect their iPads, whose launch here in the Chinese mainland has been delayed due to a US$60 million copyrights lawsuit.
Consumer reaction to the new iPad’s launch was muted.
“Everyone has waited for so long. There have been many parallel imports,” one man said.
“Nothing to be excited about. It’s not very different from the iPad 2. I’m looking forward to other breakthrough products,” another said.
Despite the relatively muted response, it is still a reflection of the rapidly growing demand for Apple products in China.
One-fifth of the company’s revenue this year already comes from the Chinese market. Analysts estimate that China will bring in about US$30 billion worth of sales for Apple by 2015.