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No great surprise, but it’s interesting to see that Apple’s China website is now taking indications of interest (notify me) for the “soon to launch” iPad.

Once you input your e-mail, the site thanks you for your interest and explains that you will be notified once more information about ordering iPad is available. This does not necessarily assure that iPad will be available in China, but it’s an encouraging sign.

Another encouraging sign is the iPad SDK available for download in China.

One more indicator that China is squarely in Apple’s iPad sights is the use of Tencent’s QQ penguin in an iPad promotion (at right).

One hurdle could be Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) preoccupation with China’s homegrown wireless standard — Wireless LAN authentication and privacy infrastructure (WAPI). Want WiFi on your mobile phone? China requires all mobile handsets have WAPI or WiFi + WAPI in combination (NOT WiFi alone).

Despite the mandatory inclusion of WAPI on handsets, the iPod Touch and Macs in China are allowed to use WiFi alone (as are many OEMs’ PCs and notebooks). Moreover, there are hundreds of thousands of WiFi hotspots across China, and despite the government’s preference for WAPI, WiFi hotspot growth is dramatically outpacing WAPI.

Bottom line … it appears that Apple can win MIIT approval to launch the iPad in China with its current configuration – WiFi (802.11n) alone or with both WiFi + 3G (supporting China Unicom’s WCDMA 3G).

One Response to “Apple’s China website taking IOIs for iPad”

  1. Rich Mulryan says:

    Rumor has it that Apple will loosen up its iron-fisted rule for the iPad-app store. Clearly, it must do so. Is it just a rumor or can we bank on it?

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