Following the launch of its iPhone on China Mobile’s 4G network, Apple has announced the availability of new TD-LTE cellular iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display models for the Chinese market. The new tablets are available from today, and in order to enjoy 4G TD-LTE access customers will need to sign-up with the country’s biggest cellular carrier, China Mobile.
Apple confirmed the news in a press release published earlier, in which the Cupertino, Calif. company notes that the new tablets are available from today, April 1:
The new iPad models give customers the ability to connect to today’s most advanced cellular data networks at blazingly fast speeds, so users can surf the web or download email and apps even faster.
iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display models supporting TD-LTE also accommodate the TD-SCDMA mobile standard, and join existing iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display WLAN + Cellular models in support of Personal Hotspot connectivity and other advanced cellular technology (GSM/EDGE, DC-HSDPA, HSPA+) to provide customers in China fast cellular access in whichever iPad model they choose.
As such, it looks like the TD-LTE-capable iPads were indeed the mysterious new models cited in Apple’s recently released iOS 7.1 software update.
China Mobile’s subscriber base of 760 million makes this a smart move for Apple, which saw 1 million iPhone customers added to the carrier’s TD-LTE network during the month of February alone. China Mobile pushed the button on its super fast 4G network on Dec. 18, and both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c officially launched with the carrier in January.
At the minute, Apple’s iPad 3 is the most popular of its tablets in China, with the iPad 4, iPad 2, and original iPad mini all coming in behind the second generation tablet. Could the TD-LTE-capable iPad Air and second-gen iPad mini change this? We’re interested to find out.
We’ll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.
In the meantime, see: Pebble’s Latest iOS App Update Breaks The Smart Watch, AppAdvice International: Price Hikes, Retail Expansions, 4G Plans And Russian Officials, and Production Of Apple’s 4.7-Inch iPhone To Begin Next Month.