China Sees Quiet Third Gen iPad Launch

Retina Display iPad gets a quiet launch in ChinaApple’s third generation iPad hit store shelves in China on Friday, but instead of the usual launch day frenzy previous that have accompanied previous rollouts, this one was quiet and relatively sedate. The reason the Retina Display’s launch was quieter, it seems, was thanks to a new pre-sale reservation system customers were required to use.

While security staff was on hand at the flagship Apple Store in Beijing, lines were short and there didn’t seem to be any need for a police presence, according to The Next Web. In contrast, the iPhone 4S launch was chaotic and required police to help keep the crowds under control. That launch, however, didn’t have the benefit of the pre-sale reservation system Apple introduced earlier this year.

Employees at Apple’s Sanliutin said the company plans to continue with reservation-only sales for the time being.

Apple warned customers ahead of time that it would be using the reservation system, and it appears to have helped avoid the riot conditions shoppers faced when the iPhone 4S launched in China.

The third generation iPad includes a high resolution Retina Display, 1080p video camera, built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and when iOS 6 ships later this year, will also offer Siri voice control support. The 16GB iPad with Wi-Fi is priced at US$499 (CNY3,177), while the 16GB iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular costs $629 (CNY4,004).