updated 11:35 am EDT, Mon March 26, 2012
New iPad passes CQCC hurdle in China
Apple's new iPad edged closer to one of its largest potential audiences Monday after the China Quality Certification Center quietly gave its approval last week. The Wi-Fi version has been given China Compulsory Certification and can go on sale as soon as Apple decides it's ready. Cellular versions will still need a separate license to reach the country.
The third-generation iPad is already reaching China, where it's manufactured, but mostly through gray market imports either from Hong Kong or the US. Apple currently advertises the new iPad on its Chinese page, but doesn't have an indication of when it will be ready to buy.
China has been receptive to the iPad and has triggered long lines and even physical fights as scalpers and actual customers struggled to get supply. Prices for unofficial imports have been reported as high as $1,100, and drops to $600 or $700 have been blamed only on Apple getting a better handle on launch supply and avoiding the scarcity of past years.
Apple's influence on tablets in China isn't necessarily as strong as it is in the US, as local majors such as Lenovo as well as numerous small "white box" companies emphasize budget Android tablets that Apple so far has decided don't merit a competitive response. About three million iPads shipped on launch weekend in just 10 countries and are expected to get a lift from both the extra two dozen countries on the March 25 launch as well as China. [via ComputerWorld]