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iPad 2 arrives in China, many waiting in line

iPad 2Apple continued its roll out of the iPad 2 in Asia on Friday with consumers in China now among those able to pinch, swipe, tap, tilt and shake to their heart’s content. According to a report by IDG News, many customers were waiting in line overnight for as long as 20 hours, a clear indication that Apple has die-hard fanatics far and wide.

The report said there were hundreds waiting outside Apple’s two Beijing stores, eager to get their hands on the Wi-Fi version of the device. It was a similar story outside Apple’s Shanghai branches.

According to Analysys International, a research firm based in the Chinese capital, Apple is likely to make gains on its already impressive share of the tablet market in the country, which currently stands at 78 percent.

The release of the iPad 2 in China could help with the availability of the tablet in other countries too. Some people are buying the popular device in order to re-sell it overseas in countries where it hasn’t yet been released. A Fortune report said that as many as 50 percent of the iPad 2s sold on the opening day in March at Apple’s Fifth Avenue store may have been sent overseas to be sold again. iPad 2s re-sold in China were being marked up by as much as 105 percent. China’s gray market for the iPad 2 will likely be severely dented by today’s launch.

According to Analysys International, as many as 4.5 million tablets could be sold in China this year, up from 600,000 last year. The Wi-Fi iPad 2 is selling in China for RMB 3,688 (16GB), RMB 4,488 (32GB) and RMB 5,288 (64GB). The 3G model has not been made available yet.

At the end of last month the tablet went on sale in Japan, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey and the UAE.

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