Despite China's contentious reception of its iPhone 5C in Sept., Apple still holds favorably the country as a prime market. It has included China in the list of select markets that it intends to launch the iPad Air with on Nov. 1.
According to Apple's mainland Web site, the California-based company will sell the full-sized iPad Air starting from 3,588 yuan ($588.79) in China. Suggested retail prices however were pegged at $499.
Although welcomed by mainland users, some consumers however have been reported to want the device in gold and have expressed disappointment over reports that the device will not carry the preferred colour.
The new iPad Air comes in silver and white, and space grey. The tablet has four storage versions: 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB.
Quoting figures from Forrester, the Global Times on Wednesday reported that sales of tablets in China are expected to jump to 28.08 million units in 2014 from 19.35 million units in 2013.
"I expect the new iPad mini with Retina display to sell well in China," Bryan Wang, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
iPad Air, according to Apple, is 20 per cent thinner than the previous version. At 9.7 in (24.6 cm), it is 7.5 mm (0.3 in) thick and weighs 1 lb (469 g). Apple claims it is the lightest full-sized tablet on the market today.
"We designed iPad to be the best tool for the things you do so often," Tim Cook, Apple chief executive, said at a media event in San Francisco, California. "But we could never have imagined the ways in which our customers are using them."
Skeptics remained wary of the new features that iPad Air supposedly has.
"I expected the latest iPad to include the Touch ID fingerprint sensor found on the iPhone 5S. The lack of this feature wouldn't have been a deal breaker for me, but it almost feels like Apple purposely left it out so it would have something unique to add to next year's model," Lance Whitney wrote on CNET.
Apart from China, new iPad Air device will be shipped on Nov. 1 to the the U.K., Spain, France and Germany.
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