New iPad launches in China with a whimper, not a bang

iPad China Launch Sales

Analysts love discussing the multi-billion dollar opportunities for Apple (AAPL) in China, but is demand for Apple wares already slowing down? That may or may not have been the case Friday morning as Apple’s latest iPad became available across the country. Whereas Apple’s previous iPad launch in China was met with chaos as hordes of eager fans who flocked to get their hands on the second-generation iPad, The Wall Street Journal reports that the scene wasn’t quite as impressive this year.

The Journal notes that questions were raised earlier in the week regarding whether or not Apple’s new iPad would launch without incident. At a major Apple Store location in Beijing where a mob scene tainted last year’s iPad launch, about 40 people lined up on Friday morning and quietly walked inside when the doors opened at 8:00 a.m.

Of course, Apple’s new iPad launch was eerily quiet in the U.S. as well, but Apple later announced that it sold more than 3 million iPads during the tablet’s first four days of availability.

Apple did reportedly employ a reservation system in China where customers were able to reserve their iPads online and then pick them up at stores on launch day, but a line of 40 buyers at an Apple Store location where hundreds mobbed the store during last year’s launch may indeed indicate that demand has tapered.

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