Media event set for September 9, launch likely ~10 days later.
Apple to Soon Offer 3G iPad 2 in China, Retail Stores Expand to Hong Kong
According to China's Telecommunication Equipment Certification Center, a device by Apple with third-generation high-speed wireless data capabilities was issued the network access license needed for the company to begin official sales in China. The device, listed under model number "A1396," is compatible with the 3G standard WCDMA, and would work with the cellular network operated by Apple's local iPhone partner, China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd.Model number A1396 is Apple's model number for the 3G iPad 2 that was released in the U.S. in March.
Separately, Penn Olson reported that Apple's official China site had listed 3G iPad 2s for sale for the first time yesterday (now removed). Shipping was listed as within 2 or 3 weeks. The site explains that Apple's 3G products are always slower to enter the Chinese market.
In related news, Apple officially confirmed that Apple's first Hong Kong retail store would be opening this quarter in the International Finance Center's IFC mall. Photos of the beginnings of the store have been sent in to us and other sites. Engadget China reports the store will open on September 24th.
Apple's rapid expansion in its Greater China market of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan has been well documented with 6x year over year growth reported in July. At the time, now Apple CEO Tim Cook said they believe that Greater China is "a substantial opportunity for Apple and we're just scratching the surface."