Apple's iPad shipments for China nearly double, after trademark dispute

Apple iPad shipments for the third quarter reached 2.07 million units

Apple's iPad shipments for China nearly doubled in the third quarter, after Apple settled in July a lengthy dispute over the iPad trademark name that once threatened to ban the device from store shelves in the country.

Shipments of the tablet in the third quarter reached 2.07 million units, up from 1.15 million in the previous quarter, according to Dickie Chang, an analyst with research firm IDC. He attributed the shipment growth to Apple finally gaining ownership of the iPad trademark in China, which cleared the way for sales of the new product.

Apple's third generation iPad went on sale in China on July 20, four months after it was made available in the U.S. The launch was delayed as Apple got embroiled in a legal battle with Chinese firm Proview, which had registered for the "IPAD" trademark in China years before.

Proview had wanted Apple to pay as much as US$400 million for the trademark, and had called on authorities to ban iPad sales in the country. Finally, in early July, the two companies settled the dispute, with Apple paying $60 million to obtain the trademark from Proview.

The growth in iPad shipments further cements Apple's dominance of China's tablet market. After Apple, the next largest vendor is Lenovo, which shipped only 278,000 tablets in the third quarter. Samsung, the country's third top tablet vendor, moved 143,000 units.

Globally, Apple said iPad sales reached 14 million in the third quarter, a year-over-year increase of 26 percent. But in terms of worldwide market share, Apple's iPad fell to 50.4 percent, as shipments for Android tablets from Samsung and Amazon grew, according to research firm IDC.

Apple, however, will likely see better tablet sales in the fourth quarter, with the launching of its iPad mini and fourth generation iPad, said IDC.

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Michael Kan

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