updated 03:00 am EST, Tue December 18, 2012
Wi-Fi version went on sale December 7, modest sales reported
Chinese authorities have granted the clearances needed for Apple and its partners to begin selling the fourth-generation full-size iPad and the iPad mini, both with 3G and LTE capabilities, in China. The licenses are reported by China's Telecommunication Equipment Certification Center to permit sales from both China Unicom and China Telecom, the second and third-largest carriers in the region. Still missing from the list of Apple partners is industry leader China Mobile, the largest cellular carrier in the world.
Apple has been talking to China Mobile about a possible deal for years, but the company does not seem to be in a hurry to carry the iPhone and other iPad, despite the demand. The president of the carrier recently said that he expects the iPhone to arrive on his carrier early next year, and Apple has reported that it sold two million iPhone 5 units since it formally went on sale December 14. The Wi-Fi only iPad has been available in China since December 7, but has not seen the demand that earlier models commanded on their debut.
When the latest iPad and iPad mini might actually debut at retail hasn't yet been announced, but Apple Stores in China are likely to get them on shelves as quickly as possible. Both products have been adapted to run on both WCDMA and CDMA2000 bands to provide LTE service where it is available.