updated 10:43 am EDT, Tue July 10, 2012
Announcement speed beats out rumors
Apple has announced that the third-generation iPad will finally reach mainland China on July 20. The tablet will be available through the company's online store, reservations at Apple Stores, and from various resellers. People wanting to making a reservation will have to start on July 19, and pick up their orders the following day between 9AM and noon. As in the US, Apple will also keep the iPad 2 on sale at a discounted price.
The launch is taking place well after the introduction of tablet in the US and in many other parts of the world, but still faster than recent rumors called for. A Chinese debut has faced several obstacles; Apple has not only had to get various wireless certifications, but settle a lawsuit with Proview over local trademark rights.
Apple could conceivably have shipped the product while ignoring Proview, but might have faced even more legal troubles. The latter company successfully had the iPad 2 confiscated from some store shelves, and there were hints that government officials favored Proview's position. In the end Apple ended up paying out $60 million, which Proview will use to help settle debts as a part of bankruptcy proceedings.