So, Apple has finally announced the 7.9-inch iPad mini, starting at $329, it has a 1024 x 768 display, is 0.68 lbs, and 7.2mm thick. It will also come in 4G LTE models. Pre-orders start this Friday, the Wi-Fi models ship November 2nd in thirty-four countries. However, China — the world’s largest population — is not getting the iPad mini, no pre-order on October 26, no launch on November 2.
Note: Hong Kong — the special administrative region of China — will be included in the list of 34 countries that will get the iPad mini first, but mainland China is not on the list.
We all know Apple’s big market is now China, and looking at the fact that Apple’s iPad has captured a 72 percent chunk of China’s tablet market in the second quarter of 2012, there should be a high demand for the iPad mini in China.
Here’s the bummer: China won’t be getting the new iPad mini, at least not anytime soon.
iPad mini Needs to Get Green Light from Chinese Government
The iPad mini has no set launch date for China via any official channel, and it’s normal for it to take two to three months to pass regulatory approval and hit shelves in mainland China. Yup, the iPad mini needs to wait to get awarded a China Compulsory Certification from the Chinese government before the device could go on sale in mainland China. The license is compulsory for 3G products being sold on the Chinese mainland.
So when is the iPad mini arriving China? Well, Apple fans in China can expect the Wi-Fi version of the iPad mini to hit the Chinese market before Christmas, however, the fate of the WiFi + Cellular version is still up for debate. Just think a matter of months from now, not weeks.
Or Get It From The Grey Market
One thing we’re pretty sure is that a Chinese local can get an iPad mini by visiting the grey market. Smuggled iPad mini units will be imported from Hong Kong and the U.S., and the iPad mini will be unofficially available for sale in China at 30-40% mark-up of the original price. Here’s what a grey market vendor from Shenzhen told us:
We will get the iPad mini the same day as the Hong Kong launch,
When we asked for the price, he quoted a price of “not less than 3,000 RMB” (about US$470) for the initial batch of the base model. We were told that only after a steady supply for a week or so will the price go down to something a bit more normal.
Here’s one thing to take note: once the iPad mini is launched officially in China, the prices at the grey market will definitely fall. But for now, if you live in China and have no friends in other countries, and you want an iPad mini, the grey market is your only hope.
p.s. Microsoft will offer its Surface tablet in China starting Oct. 26.
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