Despite the wait for Apple to sell The New iPad in China, due to a dispute with Proview over who owned the rights to the name iPad, the device may not be as successful as hoped in the market.
Those who wanted the new tablet haven't waited, with many opting to buy an iPad from Hong Kong. However, according to Apple vender, Li Hai, these grey market sales have been less prolific than sales of the previous iPad versions, reports China Daily.
Li added: "Customer reaction still isn't as passionate as it was for the previous ones." He claimed that customers complain that the new product is heavier than the iPad2 and lacks any major improvements from the old version. Apart from the Retina Display, the other lead feature of The New iPad is a brand of 4G that only works in US.
It also looks like the official version will be more expensive than purchasing a New iPad from Hong Kong.
"The price (of the new iPad) has dropped to around 3,300 yuan ($523) from 3,800 yuan in the last few months," according to Li, while the official iPad will cost 3,688 yuan.
The sale of The New iPad in China was delayed due to a legal dispute with Proview over who owned the rights to the name iPad. Apple reportedly paid $60m to the Chinese company Proview to settle a legal dispute over use of the iPad trademark. Proview's CEO has suggested controversially that Apple boss Tim Cook cracked open his own wallet to find the money.
Chinese buyers will be able to purchase iPads through the Apple online store, some authorized resellers and by reservation at one of the country's five Apple retail stores. The latter can be made daily between 9am and noon local time, starting 19 July, for next-day pick up.
The Greater China sales region - which for Apple consists of the PRC, Taiwan and Hong Kong - was responsible for $7.9 billion in sales, or 20% of Apple's total, during the quarter that ended 31 March, a tripling from the same quarter the year before.
Apple kicks off new iPad sales in China next weekTim Cook 'settled Apple's $60m trademark payoff from his own pocket'Apple's Proview Payoff May Set Ugly PrecedentApple pays US$60M for iPad trademark in ChinaProview turns down Apple's Â£10m offer for iPad trademarkApple tells developers 'get ready for China'Apple growing in Chinese PC market, still some way to go?One in ten urban Chinese owns an iOS device, analyst