Queues form as Apple launches iPad in China

Editor’s Note: The following article is reprinted from Macworld UK. Visit Macworld UK’s blog page for the latest Mac news from across the Atlantic.

Hundreds queued on Friday morning as Apple’s best-selling iPad tablet device officially went on sale in China.

AFP reports Han Ziwen, 35, was first in line outside Apple’s flagship Beijing store wearing a “I buy iPad No. 1” t-shirt.

Han had camped outside the Apple Store for 60 hours to ensure he was first in the queue, buying two iPads, 16GB and 32GB Wi-Fi versions.

In China, the Wi-fi version of the iPad costs CNY3988 (around $589) for the 16GB model, CNY4788 for the 32GB model and CNY5588 for the 64GB model.

Ma Ya, 46, was first in the queue outside the Shanghai Apple Store, having waited since 1 p.m. on Thursday.

Analysts are predicting strong sales for the iPad in the world’s biggest internet market, despite being out the price range of many potential customers and Apple having no firm date when the 3G enabled version might be available, if at all.

“There’s a growing number of Apple fans in China who have proven their interest in the iPod and the iPhone and based on that demand, the iPad will do well here,” said Ted Dean, managing director of technology consultancy BDA China.

The iPad also went on sale in South America Friday, including Argentina, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru.

Apple notes, the iPad will roll out to many more countries later this year. Availability and local pricing for these additional countries will be announced at a later date.

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