China sees surprisingly calm iPad launch

A new reservation system calmed the usual Apple customer frenzy overseas.

By Benzinga Jul 20, 2012 3:49PM
Image: China (© Brand X/SuperStock)By Katey Stapleton, Benzinga Staff Writer

The newest Apple (AAPL) iPad has finally arrived in China. Legal woes that held up the promotion and sale of the tablet have been settled, allowing techies to now swoop up a fresh version.


Shenzhen Proview Technology received a $60 million payday from Apple on July 2 to settle the company's claim of ownership over the iPad name. The claim had prompted a trademark lawsuit and brought iPad sales to a standstill in China.


While the situation itself was an unusual one, what's even more peculiar is the fact that hoards of customers were not camped outside Apple stores waiting to purchase the buzzed-about iPad. In fact, only a few dozen shoppers showed up for the unveiling in Beijing and Shanghai.


Apple product launches are almost always accompanied by crowds of fans standing in line for hours to make a purchase. Some impatient customers have even gone as far as to riot store locations and throw eggs in the past. But this time in China, the new iPad saw no such presentation.


"I am very surprised to see there is nobody here waiting," Sun Xufei told the New York Post, standing in line with just 30 customers. Xufei was the first in line, with a clan of reporters fast outnumbering the amount of people waiting. The journalists never got their juicy scoop this time around, as the mood remained relatively calm and pandemonium never ensued. However, this may be just what Apple intended when it implemented an online reservation system to control store visitors following the infamous iPhone 4S chaos.


The new system, set in place to maintain order in times of high customer volume, proved its worth throughout the iPad launch Friday. Customers were prompted to reserve their device through the online store and were then given a time to pick-up their purchase rather than waiting in long, unbearable lines.

 

Future Apple launches in China will likely see a little more hype, as this particular introduction came four months after its U.S. debut.


Meanwhile, anticipation continues to build for the next product unveiling, expected to be the newest version of the iPhone.


Apple closed Thursday at $614.32, up about 1.3% for the day. Friday afternoon, the stock was trading down nearly 1.5%.


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