Apple on Wednesday defended itself in a Shanghai court against Proview International, which claims Apple is violating a trademark it holds on the “iPad” name, the New York Times reported. Proview’s allegations have prevented the Cupertino-based company from selling its popular tablet in numerous smaller Chinese cities, however Apple Stores in Beijing and Shanghai continue to sell the device. The four-hour session at the Pudong New Area People’s Court ended without any ruling from the district judge, though both sides reportedly presented new evidence in the case. Apple claims it acquired the iPad trademark from Proview in 2009. “We bought Proview’s worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago,” the company said in a statement. “Proview refuses to honor their agreement with Apple in China and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter. Our case is still pending in mainland China.” Proview claims that Apple is using the iPad name illegally, however, as the subsidiary that licensed the trademark to Apple was not authorized to do so. More →
Pent up demand for Apple’s latest smartphone caused the company to halt sales of its just-released iPhone 4S in Beijing, China on Friday, fearing for the safety of its sales staff. According to Chinese tech blog M.I.C. Gadget, Beijing residents eager to get their hands on Apple’s iPhone 4S began to line up more than 12 hours before stores opened on Friday. A massive crowd had gathered at the Sanlitun Apple Store, and workers were forced to delay its opening. The crowd seemingly then became unruly to the point where Apple Store employees’ safety could not be guaranteed, and an announcement was made that the launch had been canceled. At that point fights reportedly began to break out, several members of the crowd began to throw eggs at the Apple Store, and SWAT teams had to be called in to restore order. Apple’s only comment on the matter was that the company has already sold out of its initial iPhone 4S supply in China. A video of the massive crowd that gathered outside Apple’s Sanlitun Apple Store follows below. More →
In eight hours, Apple’s iPhone will touch down in China for the first official time. Thousands have already lined up outside of Apple Stores, and in Beijing and Shanghai locations, there are hundreds of people waiting in the hopes of getting their hands on the iPhone 4S. The image above was posted on Twitter on January 10th, three days before the highly-anticipated smartphone’s launch. China Unicom is the only carrier set to offer the iPhone 4S, with both the 16GB and 32GB models free with a two and three-year agreements. In the future, the device is also expected to land on China Telecom, the nation’s third largest wireless carrier. More →
Two separate lawsuits have been filed against Apple in China, accusing the tech giant of selling refurbished iPhone smartphones as new devices in multiple Beijing Apple Stores. Lead by well-known consumer rights advocate Wang Hai, two customers have filed formal complaints against Apple in a Beijing court. The suits both allege that Apple Store locations sold refurbished iPhones to the complainants under the guise that they were new devices. Only when the customers discovered that their manufacturer warranties expired less than one year from their respective dates of purchase did they realize something was awry. To make matters worse, Wang says that when one such customer went back to the Apple Store to confront them, the staff there allegedly tried to trick her by modifying her warranty expiration date. ”It’s cheating to sell refurbished products as new ones,” Wang told Global Times in an interview. “It’ll be discrimination against Chinese consumers if the case turns out to be true as refurbished cellphones are also sold in other countries, but at a cheaper price.” Four other consumers in Beijing have come forward to claim they were duped into purchasing refurbished iPhones as new, however no additional lawsuits have been filed at this time. Images supplied by Wang of a customer receipt and a confirmation that the customer’s warranty expired in less than one year follow below.
The Apple iPad 2 was greeted by crowds during its debut in China on Friday morning, according to AppleInsider. Customers began lining up at about 5pm local time on Thursday, and there were hundreds of people in line by the time the store opened. Those who waited in line were allowed to leave to take one hour breaks, but anyone who spent longer was sent to the back of the queue. Scalpers also reportedly took to the streets offering the device at a relatively small markup. Chinese customers appeared to prefer the white iPad 2 over the black one, according to AppleInsider. We saw similar crowds during the U.S. debut at the New York City 5th Avenue Apple Store, where customers also started waiting in line up to 24-hours ahead of time for the device. Apple has yet to disclose its sales of the iPad 2 specifically, although it did sell 4.69 million units during the second quarter, down from the 7.33 million units it sold the quarter prior. More →
Intel is working with six to eight notebook manufacturers in an effort to push more into the Android tablet market, DigiTimes is reporting. Inventec and Compal Electronics — two Taiwanese companies — are among the manufacturing partners listed, and Intel could show off a few new devices during the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) show in Beijing next month (or during Computex Taipei later this year). DigiTimes has a mixed track record, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see this particular prognostication come to fruition. After all, ViewSonic recently launched its ViewPad 10 tablet, which is powered by a 1.66GHz Intel Atom processor and runs Android 1.6 and Windows 7. The report also suggests that Intel is working closely with Google in developing new Chrome OS products that could launch during the second half of 2011. More →
A little over a week ago, Google announced that it would stop redirecting Chinese web queries to its uncensored Hong Kong site (a practice that began in March of this year). The change came as Google was about to submit its application for a Internet Content Provider license renewal (necessary to operate a website) to the Chinese government; a renewal Beijing indicated was unlikely if the redirect was still in place. Today, Reuters is reporting that China has in fact renewed the search giant’s ICP licnese, and in an official statement Google wrote, “We are very pleased [...] and we look forward to continuing to provide web search and local products to our users in China.” Mark this chapter in the Google v. China saga closed. More →
If you’re the type who doesn’t mind picking up slightly-less-than-new products from eBay or Craigslist, Apple has the online store for you! Except it’s only in China. In a country where many Apple products are sold on the black market, Apple has decided to take on pirates and scammers by launching a used product section on its site where discounts of up to 22 percent can be found. That’s not a bad deal in a place where it can cost an arm and a leg to pick up an iPhone. We’re not sure what kind of warranties are being offered with these sales but it can presumably be expected to rival the refurbished goods that Apple sells elsewhere. The next time you’re on an extended vacation in beautiful, breezy Beijing, it looks like you can look forward to picking up some refurb’d Apple gear on the cheap.