Either Apple’s (AAPL) reservation-only system works better than anyone could have expected, or consumers in China have little interest in the company’s new iPad mini. Apple’s tiny tablet launched on schedule on Friday but according to IDG News Service, the turnout for Apple’s new slate was minimal. At Apple’s new flagship store in the well-trafficked Wangfujing district in Beijing, for example, turnout was “nearly nonexistent” according to the report, with no lines forming at all on Friday.

We’ve seen Apple rack up big numbers despite small launch-day turnouts in the past, but Apple’s reservation system does not appear to be responsible for the seemingly slow launch — according to IDG, many consumers who did turn up at Apple stores looking to purchase an iPad mini were unable to do so because they weren’t even aware that the reservation-only system existed.

Apple’s iPhone 5, which will presumably draw more of a crowd, launches in China next Friday.