While previous iPad releases have seen riots and need for police on call in China, the latest iPad went on sale in Beijing calmly last week because many already owned the new device due to illegal smuggling from Hong Kong.
The official reason you’ll hear about as to why there were no queues to buy the new iPad, is that Apple put in an ordering and reservation system online, to try and prevent a repeat of last time’s incidents at the latest release.
The unofficial and perhaps inevitable reason as to why there was no rush by the Chinese to buy The New iPad on Friday, was because it has been smuggled into the country. 200,000 iPads have been taken into China over the border illegally in the last four months, according to Reuters on video report, which calculates to over 1,500 a day.
People travel to Hong Kong and pay a lower price of US$500 for an iPad, whereas in mainland China the latest model will set you back US$580. Customers make one stop on their return journey at Sheung Shui before customs, so they can pack away the new iPads and then cross the border back into China, paying no duty on any of the tablets, therefore taking them into the country illegally.
The New iPad was released in China four months after it was put into stores in Australia meaning that the dedicated customers who would have originally rushed to buy the new iPad, already knew everything about it’s features. The element of the unknown was removed, which is usually upheld for so long by Apple and often plays a part in so many of the products’ appeal.