Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO, Tim Cook, confirmed that Chinese customers will be able to buy an iPad Mini with cellular by the end of the month.
Though the CEO failed to provide an exact date for release, he said the iPad Mini with cellular functionality will be coming to China “in late January.” The iPad mini with Wi-Fi, since its launch in China on December 7th, has been extremely successful. An analyst from Topeka Capital Markets said, last month, that Chinese and Hong Kong users have an “insatiable appetite” for Apple’s smaller slate. The iPad mini is equipped to handle 4G networks, but this is not as common across China as 3G is.
“Prior to the China launch, we indicated that the iPad Mini would be the ‘next big thing in China’ and we believe this phenomenon is starting to develop,” White said in his note to investors. “In our view, the smaller form factor and lower price point will allow Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to sell the iPad Mini in more meaningful volumes versus the regular-size iPad.”
Cook did admit that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) products do take a bit more time to become available in China, due to regulatory approval. Cook said China will be the biggest market for Apple devices, and the iPhone maker will have more than 25 retail stores there. Cook revealed that he has visited China many times in the past, first, in 1996. This is his second visit, in ten months, as an Apple CEO.
“I love China because it is full of life, full of energy and it’s a quickly-changing market,” Cook said.
Tim Cook, recently met with the chairman of China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE:CHL) (HKG:0941) – the world’s largest wireless carrier. With millions of subscribers, China Mobile would be a strong ally for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) – though no deal has been struck yet. But in his recent interview with Sina Tech, Cook would not say what the subject or outcome of the meeting was. The meeting was confirmed to CNBC by a spokesman for China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE:CHL) (HKG:0941), who said that the two sides discussed “matters of cooperation.” However, a confidentiality agreement was reportedly signed, and no further details of the talks were given.