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Apple adds 12 countries to new iPad distribution this week

by David Needle

April 16 2012

Australia has objected to the 4G label on the new iPad since the higher speed isn't actually available there. (Photo: The Australian)
Australia has objected to the 4G label on the new iPad since the higher speed isn't actually available there. (Photo: The Australian)

Apple announced that its latest iPad will be available in 12 countries, in addition to the U.S., starting this Friday. While successful, the new iPad rollout has hit a few snags internationally.

South Korea heads a list of countries set to get the new iPad starting April 20. The other countries are Brunei, Croatia, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Malaysia, Panama, St Maarten, Uruguay and Venezuela. 

Exactly one week later Apple said the international roll out will continue when the iPad becomes available in Colombia, Estonia, India, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, South Africa and Thailand.

Noticeably absent from Apple’s list of international target countries for the new iPad is the biggest of all, China. The delay may simply be a case of Apple needing to line up the resources and inventory to supply the huge market in China (though ironically, that should be less of an issue since that’s where iPads are made). 

Another possible reason for the delay is the lingering trademark dispute brought by China-based Proview Electronics which claims it owns the iPad name. Apple said it bought the rights to the name in China from a Proview subsidiary. Apple did not return a request for comment. 

The new iPad release in Australia has also been bumpy where authorities there have objected to Apple’s branding the device ”iPad Wi-Fi + 4G.” The issue is that the iPad’s 4G technology doesn’t work with carriers in Australia so iPad users there will actually be limited to 3G connectivity. 

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has secured an agreement from Apple that it would put a notice up wherever the new iPad is sold to warn customers that, while it does work at fast speeds, it is not compatible with any Australian 4G networks. But mediation on the branding issue has failed and the case is headed for the courts, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald. 

Apple announced the new iPad sold over 3 million units in less than a week after it was released last month but hasn’t given out any further sales figures. 

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