Apple expects to have its iPad mini with cellular on sale in China by the end of January, CEO Tim Cook has revealed during his trip to the country this week. The launch news – which follows the release of the WiFi-only iPad mini in China back in early December – was confirmed by Cook in an interview with Tencent, though its LTE connectivity may not be of particular use.
That’s down to incompatibility between the iPad mini cellular’s 4G modem and the LTE networks in operation in China, an issue that has affected usability elsewhere in the world since the 7.9-inch tablet’s release. Still, the 3G will be supported, making for easier connectivity on the move.
The cellular version is already up for preorder in China, in both black and silver, with pricing beginning at 3,488 Chinese yuan ($560) for the 16GB version. Apple’s online store gives no indication of specific release date, only saying that there’s currently no supply.
Demand for the iPad mini in China had been expected to be high, and according to Cook that strong interest is indeed panning out. The CEO has previously suggested that China is the next big growth market for Apple – not an unusual opinion in the consumer electronics industry today – and is visiting the country to meet with suppliers, regulators, and others to discuss Apple’s further expansion.