Apple iPad will retail in China starting Sept. 17. Rumors suggest that Target could be preparing to market the device in time for the holiday shopping season, as well.
Even as its rivals prepare their own tablet PCs for the holiday shopping
season, Apple seems determined to increase the reach of its iPad into more
markets: Not only will the WiFi-only version of the device go on sale in China
by the end of the week, but it might also hit Target stores sometime this fall.
According to a
Sept. 13 press release from Apple
, the iPad will "be available to
customers in China
from Apple Retail Stores, and select Apple Authorized Resellers" starting
Sept. 17. The 16GB version will retail for the equivalent of $589; the 32GB for
$708; and the 64GB for $826. That
represents something of a premium over U.S. pricing,
where the 16GB retails
for $499; the 32GB for $599; and the 64GB for $699.
The rumor mill's also churning busily over the iPad potentially arriving at
Target within the next few months. In a Sept. 12 post, tech
mentioned receiving "a list featuring a mysteriously
unnamed product that's set to become available October 3rd (in six different
versions, no less)" along with a screenshot-from a Target
inventory-tracking PDA-showing item numbers
that correspond with iPad prices. The unnamed products will apparently end up
in the stores' Digital Audio section.
Whether or not those rumors are true, Apple will likely continue to sell a
large number of iPads. A September research note from
UBS Investment Research predicted sales of 28 million units in 2011
perhaps affecting the market for traditional low-end notebooks.
"Sales of traditional notebooks appear to be feeling pressure from the
iPad, causing a scramble by vendors to launch iPad-like tablets," analyst
Maynard Um wrote in that note. "We believe that a majority of the impact
is occurring on the lower end of PC sales as the iPad is priced close enough to
this range that it becomes attractive to consumers looking to make purchases
within this segment."
In addition, wrote UM: "Consumers who purchase iPads may be more
willing to delay purchases and upgrades of existing PCs." He did, however,
stop short of suggesting that the iPad will cannibalize the notebook
other question is whether upcoming tablet rivals can substantially dent the
. Current rumors suggest that the Samsung Galaxy Tab
will be offered on Verizon, Sprint and AT&T, potentially giving it a
sizable advantage against the AT&T-only iPad. However, the iPad's carrier
model, which allows users to switch off the connection-and the cost that comes
with it-might allow Apple to keep its advantage in the tablet-connectivity
arena over Samsung, which could insist that users bind themselves to a two-year
Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and other manufacturers all either have a tablet on
the marketplace or are preparing one for launch in the coming quarters.