Apple’s magic touch is evident, particularly in China.
China’s insatiable appetite for Apple products continues with Apple’s iPad 2 launched last Friday to overwhelming demand. Hundreds of hopeful buyers showed up at Apple’s four stores in Beijing and Shanghai. “When we arrived here at around 4 a.m., there were already more than 500 people waiting and the crowd rose to some 1,000 people when the store opened,” according to an Apple security guard in its downtown Beijing store.
While Apple didn’t limit supply to Chinese consumers this time — unlike previous product releases, four hours after the stores opened, stock outs were reported. By Friday afternoon, the iPad 2 shipping estimates at their online store went from “1-2 weeks” to “no supply.”
Industry sources estimate the iPad 2 prices to be 3,688 yuan (US$567), 300 yuan (US$46) for the cheapest version, which is lower than the previous version. The 32G and 64G versions will be sold for 4,488 yuan (US$690) and 5,288 yuan (US$813), respectively.
The iPad 2 will be available at Apple’s four stores as well as authorized distributors around the country, including 36 in Beijing.
Apple has the lion share of China’s tablet market garnering almost 80% of the tablet market with its original iPad. Now with the strong iPad 2 debut, Apple could have the entire tablet market in China cornered!
China is Apple’s fastest-growing market with annual growth of nearly 250 percent. Its first quarter China sales reached US$2.6 billion, quadrupled the sales for the same period last year.
So it’s a no brainer that Apple has made China a top priority. In the next two year, Apple expects to expand its stores to 25 from the current four.
The iPad 2 which released in Hong Kong a week earlier sold for 3,888 Hong Kong dollars (US$500), or about 3,249 yuan. It’s the lowest price for an iPad anywhere in the world and attracted long lines of Hong Kong and China buyers.