Tim Cook is on his second visit to China as Apple CEO this week, and during an interview with local reporters on Thursday, he confirmed that the cellular version of the iPad mini will be arriving in the nation in late January. The Wi-Fi only model arriving in China on December 7, just over a month after it launched in the United States.
The cellular iPad mini was awarded its Chinese network licenses back in December, so we had a feeling its launch would be fairly close. Once those licenses are gained, Apple likes to get devices on sale pretty quickly. The iPhone 5 went on sale in China on December 14, just over two week after it gained regulatory approval.
Cook acknowledged that Apple devices take longer to arrive in China because of the time it takes for them to be approved. However, he also noted that the company is making an effort to decrease those wait times, The Next Web reports. Apple could apply for approval in advance of a device’s unveiling, of course, but it would almost certainly lead to leaked information.
Cook predicted that China will eventually become Apple’s largest market, and that the Cupertino company will have more than 25 retail stores there. He also revealed that he has visited China many times in the past, first in 1996. This is his second visit as Apple CEO in the space of ten months.
“I love China because it is full of life, full of energy and it’s a quickly-changing market,” Cook said.
On Tuesday, Cook reportedly met with China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua regarding a future deal for the iPhone. It could prove to be an incredibly lucrative move for Apple; China Mobile is the world’s largest mobile provider, with over 700 million subscribers. Even if only a small percentage of those made the iPhone their next device, it would represent a massive revenue source for Apple.
Via: The Next Web