updated 03:15 am EDT, Fri July 20, 2012
New queue and reservation systems reduce scalper traffic
With little fanfare, Apple finally launched the latest model Retina display iPad in China earlier today to significantly less chaos than previous iPhone and iPad launches. A pre-sale reservation process guaranteed a smooth sales process, surprising Apple customers expecting mayhem when the device finally went on sale. The new system is intended to stymie scalpers, whose high-volume purchases had aggravated an already-tense stock shortage situation outside the dealerships during the iPhone launch.
Supervised by guards, about 20 shoppers waited outside stores in Shanghai and Bejing to obtain the device. Computer technician Sun Xufei was the first person in line in Shangai. "I am very surprised to see there is nobody here waiting," Sun said to the reporters who outnumbered the queued shoppers.
While the device was technically certified at the end of May, Apple only won permission to sell the device in mainland China after settling a lawsuit over ownership of the iPad name, allegedly still owned by the nearly-dead display company Proview. Apple finally capitulated and agreed to pay the company $60 million after the China-based manufacturer claimed that Apple acted unfairly to acquire the name in 2009 using a shell company.
Proview argued that had the company known that Apple was behind the shell company IPADL that made the original deal, it would never have signed the rights over for the $55,000 price it originally agreed to. Apple's stance on the issue was that they procured the rights through appropriate legal channels, and the Proview claim was nothing more than extortion once they found out who was behind the purchase. [via TheNextWeb]