Crowds line up for China iPad launch, China Unicom starts iPhone 4 pre-orders - report

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Chinese Apple fans braved heavy rain Friday morning to be the first to purchase the Wi-Fi iPad from Apple. China Unicom began taking pre-orders for the iPhone 4 Friday at 10 a.m.



At Apple's flagship Beijing retail store, eager fans lined up as much as three days before Friday's 8 a.m. launch of the iPad.



Retail employees for the Cupertino, Calif., company were on hand to distribute umbrellas, coffee and water to those waiting in line outside of Apple's first retail store in China.



As staff readied the store for the barrage of customers, over a hundred people lined up in front of the store, with latecomers continuing to trickle in. The customer at the front of the line had been waiting for over sixty hours.







"I came straight here from work on Tuesday to be first in line," bookstore owner David Han told AppleInsider. "I could have bought an imported gray-market or pirated iPad, but I waited to buy the iPad directly from an Apple Retail Store."



Grinning happily, Han produced a wad of cash and fanned it for the media. "I won't use a credit card! I'm proud to pay with Renminbi (China's national currency)," Han said, admonishing his compatriots to do the same. Amid cheers from Apple retail employees and the crowd, Han later emerged with an iPad in each hand.







The iPad in China starts at CNY3,988 (about $593) for the 16 GB model. Although the iPad 3G is currently listed as "Coming Soon" on the China Apple Store website, no date has been given for the launch of the iPad 3G model in China.



Apple representatives at the launch event declined to comment on whether the morning's crowds were meeting the company's expectations.



"This is [the customers'] day," one Apple PR staffer told reporters as she held back the press and ushered enthusiastic fans into the store.



Apple fans in China have a lot to celebrate today. In addition to receiving the iPad after months of anticipation, they are now able to pre-order the iPhone 4 from China Unicom, China's second-largest mobile operator. The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple's latest smartphone will cost Chinese customers at least CNY5,880 (about $875) and will require a two-year contract with China Unicom.



Friday's Wi-Fi iPad launch and iPhone 4 pre-orders will build momentum as Apple aggressively goes after the Chinese market. In July, Apple opened its second retail store in China. The Shanghai mega-store features a prominent glass cylinder with the Apple logo. The company revealed at a shareholder's meeting in February that it plans to build 25 retail stores in China over the next few years.



Apple's not going to rush into the Chinese market, though. The company is focused on the long haul, prioritizing "building the brand for the long-term" over initial sales figures.







In addition to China, the iPad launched in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru on Friday.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    These things are selling like hot cakes. I read where Best Buy's CEO said iPads are cannibalizing notebook sales in their retail stores by as much as 50%.



    So much for people not wanting a larger iPod touch.
  • Reply 2 of 31
    That will be me on the day the second generation iPad comes out...except I won't be buying two iPads
  • Reply 3 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mgl323 View Post


    That will be me on the day the second generation iPad comes out...except I won't be buying two iPads



    Single? Perhaps he's gettin' one for the little woman? Of course he could need multiple copies with one for work and another for development testing.
  • Reply 4 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mgl323 View Post


    That will be me on the day the second generation iPad comes out...except I won't be buying two iPads



    I'm very pleased with my first gen, and after installing iOS 4.2, I love it even more. Can't wait to see what's in store for generation 2.
  • Reply 5 of 31
    Hopefully it'll do better than the iPhone has dome thus far in China... Who Knows?
  • Reply 6 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    Single? Perhaps he's gettin' one for the little woman? Of course he could need multiple copies with one for work and another for development testing.



    Who knows. You could be right.
  • Reply 7 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Postulant View Post


    I'm very pleased with my first gen, and after installing iOS 4.2, I love it even more. Can't wait to see what's in store for generation 2.



    Glad to hear that. I also can't wait for the second generation iPad. I'm defenitly purchasing that device.
  • Reply 8 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mgl323 View Post


    Glad to hear that. I also can't wait for the second generation iPad. I'm defenitly purchasing that device.



    I'm anticipating a video camera, maybe a faster processor, and more RAM.



    Speaking of RAM, is anyone else surprised by how efficient the iPad handles multitasking? Despite running the often buggy BETA software, my iPad handles multitasking with no hiccups.



    I'm no RAM expert, but I expected multitasking to put a noticeable strain on performance.
  • Reply 9 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Postulant View Post


    I'm anticipating a video camera, maybe a faster processor, and more RAM.



    Speaking of RAM, is anyone else surprised by how efficient the iPad handles multitasking? Despite running the often buggy BETA software, my iPad handles multitasking with no hiccups.



    I'm no RAM expert, but I expected multitasking to put a noticeable strain on performance.



    Hopefully Apple will have some kind "oh and one more thing" special that will surprise people.
  • Reply 10 of 31
    I love that guys T-shirt slogan. "I buy iPad No.1". As he bought two, I wonder if he can remember which one it was.



    Sixty hours! That guys got some stamina. Or was he the Apple Insider?



    I love the PR machine. "Today is for our customers". Let them eat cake.
  • Reply 11 of 31
    Quote:

    In addition to China, the iPad launched in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru on Friday.



    Any news how those launches went? Any pics?
  • Reply 12 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Postulant View Post


    I'm anticipating a video camera, maybe a faster processor, and more RAM.



    Speaking of RAM, is anyone else surprised by how efficient the iPad handles multitasking? Despite running the often buggy BETA software, my iPad handles multitasking with no hiccups.



    I'm no RAM expert, but I expected multitasking to put a noticeable strain on performance.



    Really. I too was expecting multi-tasking will not work properly with so less ram. Is it able to hold programs in memory? In any case safari takes too much memory, I am sure it will not be able to hold many pages in memory.
  • Reply 13 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr Underhill View Post


    Any news how those launches went? Any pics?



    Hellooo........have you stopped to look at the geographic location of these S. American countries? Like you I'm in the UK, and Argentina is 4 hrs behind us this Friday morning 7.50am, so I don't think the Apple Stores will have opened yet! Do You?
  • Reply 14 of 31
    Does 4.2 drain the battery faster? I'm worried that with the inclusion of multitasking the ipad's battery will go down very fast. After upgrading to iOS4 my iPhone 3GS battery dies in 1/2 a days usage.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Postulant View Post


    I'm anticipating a video camera, maybe a faster processor, and more RAM.



    Speaking of RAM, is anyone else surprised by how efficient the iPad handles multitasking? Despite running the often buggy BETA software, my iPad handles multitasking with no hiccups.



    I'm no RAM expert, but I expected multitasking to put a noticeable strain on performance.



  • Reply 15 of 31
    LOL, even in the crowd there's a beachball, does it spin all the time like in Mac OS?
  • Reply 16 of 31
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    I hope the Chinese like the iPad! You can write Chinese characters on it with your fingers you know, that's got to be worth something And it has lots of games! Buy one today!! $$$
  • Reply 17 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr Underhill View Post


    I love that guys T-shirt slogan. "I buy iPad No.1". As he bought two, I wonder if he can remember which one it was.



    Sixty hours! That guys got some stamina. Or was he the Apple Insider?



    He looks like a big douche but 60 hours and a custom T-shirt, hell, I'll forgive ya buddy!



    BTW official Apple umbrella... I want! It's probably all on eBay by now.



    Actually, the fake Apple umbrellas are all on Alibaba anyways

    http://www.aliexpress.com/product-fm...olesalers.html



    Aren't Chinese manufacturers awesome? They make two of everything. One for you, one for them to flog on the world market themselves.
  • Reply 18 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by simtub View Post


    Does 4.2 drain the battery faster? I'm worried that with the inclusion of multitasking the ipad's battery will go down very fast. After upgrading to iOS4 my iPhone 3GS battery dies in 1/2 a days usage.



    Hmm... If you turn 3G off and turn off a lot of the push notifications the battery shouldn't be that bad. You should be able to last 2 days. I can go almost 3 days if I also turn off Cellular Data and only turn it on when I need it.
  • Reply 19 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SaltWater View Post


    LOL, even in the crowd there's a beachball, does it spin all the time like in Mac OS?



    Only if an Android fan is using it.
  • Reply 20 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mgl323 View Post


    That will be me on the day the second generation iPad comes out...except I won't be buying two iPads



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    Single? Perhaps he's gettin' one for the little woman? Of course he could need multiple copies with one for work and another for development testing.



    In Asia, anything rare, like official Apple Store iPads, you buy as many as you can. For giving to family/ spouse/ girlfriend/ boyfriend or for selling it to other people. This guy would have bought 20 iPads if he was allowed to do so.
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