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Apple's new iPad set for July 20 China launch

Scalpers prick up their ears

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Scalpers take note: Apple’s long-awaited shiny new iPad will finally launch in mainland China as of 20 July.

The new fondleslab has been on sale in Apple stores in every other major market in the world for some time, and Cupertino will be rubbing its hands together in anticipation of what is likely to be a big seller in the People’s Republic.

The announcement comes just days after the fruity toy maker wrapped up a long-running legal dispute over trademark rights to the IPAD name, offering failed monitor firm Proview $60 million.

There are even suggestions that CEO Tim Cook may have declined $75m in dividends owed to him earlier this year in order to settle the case without effectively passing on the costs to shareholders.

Two things we can expect of any Apple launch in China are lots of hype and plenty of scalpers.

In fact, the last major product launch ended in disaster for the firm when it decided not to open its flagship Beijing store to sell the new iPhone 4S and got an egg pelting from the angry waiting crowd.

The official excuse was that the crowd was too large, and the safety of customers and employees couldn’t be guaranteed, but most likely it was due to concerns that scalpers in the queue were about to come in and bulk buy the stock to sell on at an inflated profit.

These black marketeers are less of a problem for Apple now that iPhone supply and demand in China has just about levelled out, although the hype surrounding the new iPad could bring them back out of the woodwork.

That’s why Apple has decided to institute the reservation policy it used successfully to keep scalpers at bay in the Hong Kong Apple store.

Fanbois can request a reservation online, leaving ID details, between the hours of 9am and 12pm to give them a chance of picking up the device in-store the following day.

Around 20 per cent of Apple’s sales come from China so it will be hoping the new fondleslab will be a hit in the People’s Republic.

Prices start at $499 for the 16GB, WiFi-only model. ®

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