Apple stores in Beijing and Shanghai opened at 8am (UTC time zone) earlier today but to the surprise of many, gone were the chaotic, disorganised queues of the past.
Instead, the number of people queuing up was greatly reduced, no doubt helped by Apple’s new pre-sale reservation system which requires all customers to register their interest in getting the tablet prior to its availability. The reservation system charged prospective owners from around $579 for the latest iPad, and also helps to restrict independent buyers from buying the device in bulk.
The launch is significant news for Apple, which counts China – less we forget the world’s second largest economy – as one of its most influential markets. Indeed, China was said to have accounted for 20% ($7.9 billion) of Apple’s total revenues in the last quarter.
Apple’s new iPad debuted across the globe in March, but its introduction to the Chinese market was halted by the firm’s legal battle with local monitor maker Proview, over the iPad trademark.
Proview claimed to have owned the trademark since the 2000s, while Apple in turn suggested it had purchased the name off a Taiwanese subsidiary of Proview in 2009. The case was finally resolved when Apple offered to pay the financial stricken company $60 million to use the iPad name in China.