It’s been a profitable run for Apple since it released its iPad Mini and the iPhone 5. Despite Wi-Fi-only and cellular versions of the iPad Mini supply being constantly strained, and in some places going completely out of stock, Apple has released the Wi-Fi + Cellular versions of the iPad and iPad mini tablets to mainland China.
Due to strong demand, there has been a two-week backlog on all iPad mini models globally.
Chinese online stores already have two-week shipping estimates for all iPad mini versions. The regular-sized iPad 4s, however, were listed as shipping in one to three working days, while the third-generation iPads were in stock.
Compared to shipping statistics in other parts, iPad Minis ship in one week in the U.S. and two weeks in the U.K.
In an interview with Chinese reporters, Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted that while it takes longer for Apple devices to arrive in China due to longer approval times, efforts are being made to speed up the process. Cook also predicted that China will eventually become Apple’s largest market with over 25 retail stores up from the current eight.
The Greater China region, which includes Taiwan and Hong Kong, is currently the second-largest market.
Tim Cook’s recent visit to Beijing has included meetings with high-ranking government officials, discussions with China Mobile as a potential partner, and of course visits to Apple stores and meet-ups with resellers. China represents a massive untapped opportunity, and with over 700 million subscribed to China Mobile, a meeting with a China Mobile representative alone would have made the trip worth it.
While only a handful of these subscribers can afford the iPhone, Apple is rumored to be working on a budget iPhone which would see it gain some ground in a currently Android-dominated market.
In the meantime, the tech giant continues to enjoy huge sales of its products globally. It could very well be that the iPad Mini is creating an insatiable demand for Apple products, as evidenced by its popularity and strong sales as of late.
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Edited by Braden Becker