Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will launch the cellular models of its iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 in China this week, as announced officially by the company. Both iPad models are compatible with TD-LTE and FDD-LTE and are already available on the company’s China website.
Apple tablet sales expected to decline
With tablet sales depleting around the world, the iPhone maker is trying to capture the second most important market with its updated models. Only last month, IDC published its report saying full-year iPad shipments will take a dip for the first time since the tablet’s launch, partly because of low-priced Android models in the market and also because tablets have a longer durability compared to smartphones.
IDC stated further that emerging markets have exceeded the number of tablet shipments compared to developed markets this year, capturing around 50.6% of the market. This implies countries such as China are becoming increasingly significant for tablet manufacturers. When Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) decided to sell its first tablet, the N1, the company selected China to market it in.
A recent report from Xinhua suggested TD-LTE user numbers are expected to reach 70 million by the end of this year. China’s largest telecom operator, China Mobile, has received an approval for its planned FDD-LTE network from the government, whereas the other two prominent network operators, China Telecom and China Unicom, will get their licenses this month.
Apple boasts innovative features
Apple has made the iPad Air 2 around 18% slimmer than the original iPad Air, claiming it to be the world’s thinnest tablet. To be precise, the new iPad Air 2 is only 6.1 mm thick.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based company claims the iPad Air 2 has some amazing innovative features, such as an enhanced Retina display with a new anti-reflective coating that brings down the glare by 56% for comfortable viewing in the office, the classroom or outdoors. Other features are iSight and FaceTime cameras for shooting images and videos.
It remains to be seen whether or not Apple has succeeded in making Chinese customers believe the cellular network will be fast enough on the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 compared to cheaper Android models.