Apple iPad’s Chinese launch proves to be extremely quiet

To say that the Apple iPad has had a tumultuous time in China would be quite an understatement. There was a protracted battle with Proview, a Chinese company on the verge of bankruptcy, over the ‘iPad’ trademark. For all of Apple’s bluster, they had to cough up a whopping $60 million to actually be allowed to sell the new iPad in China.


Moreover, the launch of another Apple product (the iPhone 4S) last year had been met with an incredibly chaotic response, leading to Chinese police cordoning off malls to keep the uncontrollable crowd in control.

The two events described above made plenty of people wonder how the response to the new iPad, which is being described as the best iPad yet, would be. As it turns out, it was a little unbelievably calm, and passed without any untoward incidents.

There were barely 40 customers queued up on Friday morning at an Apple Store in Beijing, making the surrounding security detail seem rather unnecessary. It turns out that Apple had introduced a new reservation system for the launch of the third gen iPad. Customers were being allotted a fixed time and location to pick up their Apple tablets, thereby rendering the possibility of crowd violence null and void.

Some would argue that the sparse crowds at the iPad launch could imply low demand for the tablet, but realistically, there are two more likely scenarios. The first would be that, Chinese customers who had been waiting for the new iPad had already purchased it in the sizeable gap between its launch abroad and its launch in their country. Given the massive size of the grey market in China, along with places like Hong Kong and Taiwan nearby (which had had the iPad released earlier), there was no dearth of options for an impatient iPad fan. The second would be that Apple actually managed to make the reservation system extremely effective in organizing demand and supply for its tablet.



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