At long last, Apple’s third-generation iPad has debuted in China today, according to a report by Reuters. Unexpectedly, though, the proceedings surrounding the long-awaited launch have been described as “quiet.”
To be sure, it’s far from being a launch that failed to make some buzz, so to speak. Rather, it’s quiet in the sense that it’s markedly different from the riotous happenings during Apple’s previous Chinese release.
The relative calm of today’s event is largely attributable to an online reservation system that Apple has implemented for iPad purchases. This system was originally adopted by the company in response to the commotion that broke at the iPhone 4S’ Beijing launch last January.
Under the system, a prospective buyer of the latest iteration of Apple’s bestselling tablet first needs to request a reservation online. If the request is successfully confirmed, the buyer is asked to pick up the device the next day.
Only a limited number of reservations are processed per day, so buyers are sure to proceed with their purchases when they arrive at Apple’s bricks-and-mortar stores. In addition, they need not worry about dealing with long queues and the attendant scalpers.
Even as it results in low-key events, I think this kind of setup is a most favorable one. It should be carried out by Apple every time a new product is launched in locations where chaotic crowds are likely to turn up.
The third-generation iPad officially comes to China weeks after Apple finally settled its iPad trademark dispute with Chinese manufacturer Proview. The device, which is usually but not-so-accurately referred to as the new iPad, passed its last round of certification tests in China last May.
Indeed, its release in the country was a long time coming. But few would have guessed that such a “resolutionary” device could make for such a “quiet” launch.