The Apple iPad 2 tablet officially goes on sale in mainland China today and for Apple fans who've been lined up all night the wait will be well worth it. The same goes for Apple Inc., for whom pictures of huge lineups for the iPad 2 tablet aren't just worth a thousand words, they're worth many millions of dollars!
Call it the Second Coming if you like; just don't call millions of Chinese late for the opening of their local electronics store. Apple Inc.'s improved second iteration of the amazingly popular iPad tablet is set to hit retail store shelves on Friday, May 6th, 2011 -- and eager shoppers with yuan to burn can hardly wait. The thinner, lighter, twin-camera equipped iPad 2 tablets are to be sold at Apple China's own branded stores and online market, and also at Chinese electronics retailers GOME and Suning in the cities of Beijing and Shanghai.
Purchasers who have been longing for an Apple iPad 2 tablet but have been put off by high costs and limited availability of smuggled iPad 2s will be happy to hear the MSRP is lower than the hefty sums demanded by online sellers. Just don't expect any discounts from these sticker prices: 3,688 yuan ($558) for the 16GB iPad 2, 4,488 yuan ($679) for the 32GB model and 5,288 yuan ($800) for the 64GB tablet.
Reflecting the new retail presence of the Apple iPad 2, average selling prices of the popular tablets at Taobao.com have dropped to around 4,000 yuan ($605) whereas previously they sold for as much as 5,500 yuan ($832).
It should also be stated that all Apple iPad 2s sold in mainland China will be WiFi equipped – there are no plans afoot to sell 3G iPad 2 tablets (which require local telecommunications partners) in the PRC.
Online sellers might take a hit in the profit margin but Apple Inc. should do just fine: At a robust 250 percent, Apple's sales growth in China for 2011's second quarter is nearly double the already impressive 155 percent figure for the United States. With over a billion potential customers for the new iPad 2 in China and a booming economy keeping their wallets topped up, this is one Apple that's looking quite rosy indeed! (via Shanghai Daily and Gadgets Republic)