Cellular iPad, iPad mini to go on sale in China on Friday

The devices will launch during the holiday season before Chinese New Year

Apple on Friday will bring its 3G enabled fourth-generation iPad and iPad mini to China, a market where the company's tablets continue to dominate.

The devices are being launched during the holiday season in the run up to Chinese New Year on Feb. 10. Apple is also launching this month a financing option for eligible consumers in the country, allowing them to buy its products in monthly installment plans.

The cellular versions of the new iPad and iPad mini will arrive after versions of the devices with only Wi-Fi launched in the country in December. To sell the devices, Apple is using a reservation system at its company stores in order to reduce the need for waiting in line, and prevent customer skirmishes.

Historically, Apple's products have come late to China, sometimes weeks or months after they first launched in the U.S. Apple CEO Tim Cook said this was because of the long process for approvals by Chinese regulators. Cook, however, hopes China will one day be among the first countries to receive Apple's newest products.

In last year's third quarter, Apple had a 71 percent market share of China's tablets market, according to Beijing-based research firm Analysys International. While the iPad remains the top selling tablet in major markets, experts said Apple faces less competition in China, where both Amazon and Google have yet to launch their Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 products.

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Michael Kan

IDG News Service
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