Apple’s iPad mini lived up to its name today in China, drawing a smaller crowd than last year’s riotous introduction of the iPhone 4S. Indeed, one observer described the Friday reception by mainland China tech fans as “nearly nonexistent”. Those consumers who did go to Apple locations, such as the the company’s Beijing store, came away not with the 7.9-inch mini, but with the larger iPad 4, instead. As opposed to January’s mobs that rioted, forcing Apple to temporarily halt sales of the 4S, no mobs appeared for the mini…

The new reservation-only system requires customers to first reserve the iPad mini online before picking one up at a store on mainland China.

IDG interviewed customers who didn’t know about the extra step, coming away with the iPad 4. Others who really wanted the mini were able to side-step the reservations by going to Hong Kong, where iPad mini sales began in November.

Despite the low turn-out in central China, local analysts say Apple remains the top brand for high-end tablets. Another test of China’s demand for all things Apple comes next week, when the iPhone 5 finally goes on sale there.

It should have come as little surprise that the iPad mini would not receive the attention in China equal to an iPhone.

Unlike more mature markets for Apple, China is just now transitioning from simple ‘feature phones’ to smartphones. Also, an iPhone is more ubiquitous, receiving almost continuous usage throughout the day. Then there is the difference between cultures.

In the West, everything new is seen as better.

Can Apple expect its iPad mini in China to receive the same level of consumer enthusiasm as the iPhone?

Or did Apple just shoot itself in the foot by imposing a reservation-first system, placing an extra obstacle in the path of sales?

  • Hope the stock will maintain or apple will do something to increase the manufacturing demands.


    • Yes old tech, just like ipad 3 is old tech really? Cmmon dude

      • Dan

        he’s probably referring to the fact that it’s a smaller iPad 2

      • exactly.. if the ipad mini was a small ipad 3 i would be all over it…lololo

      • Still its from 2011 i dont call that old tech at all xd

      • no retina = old tech… apple was just being greedy with this POS ipad min version and the big upgrade in 6 months wil beee…….. wait for it wait for it ooooh RETINA>…lolool

      • ummm… ipad3 has retina … ipad mini has same screen as old crappy 3gs iPhone..loololo even the old ipod touch 4g has a better screen the ipad mini

      • Lordthree

        But, you’re wrong. It’s got the same amount of pixels as iPad 2, BUT they’re squeezed together to 7.9 screen size making the ppi higher. It’s not retina but it’s much better than iPad 2. Don’t spread bad / untrue information.

      • ummm have you seen the ipad mini screen in person??? it does not even look as good as the old ipod touch 4G and that is unacceptable fact

      • Lordthree

        I’ve seen them, used them. Ordered one. I’ve got iPhone 4S. The screen is good (retina). It was also good on the retina iPod touch.
        Although this iPad mini screen isn’t retina level ppi, it’s still significantly higher than the original ppi on the older devices and the iPad 2. No fucking shit it’s not retina, but you’re flat oh lying when you say it’s the same as the iPad 2. Go AI and spin and stop making shit up. You want iPad mini it sounds like but since you’re not getting one you’re trying to convince everyone else how shitty they are. F off.

      • blah blah blah … apple should have used full retina in the mini FACT

      • Joe Jonsen douche…doesn’t knows that high res games require CPU and GPU also…. simply singing name of retina retina

      • Youre so funny i have an ipad mini and its fucking amazing i couldnt care less about the retina. Omg im using an iphone 5 right now i guess the a6 chip is old tech too? since ipad 4 got a a6x omg :0

      • “i couldnt care less about the retina” – Dany Quirion

        you dont care about high quality high res graphics..

  • actually, apple just took 2 steps back by releasing a non-retina device (after spending 2 years of pushing retina and making a big deal about it). all for teh sake of competing, they rush out an inferior product. the ipad mini first gen is a joke.

    • exactly and this is a direct indicator of how lame tim cook plans to run apple into the ground now that Steve s gone… making new products with old tech…oloolol sad

      • JamesR624

        Hell, look at the “new” iMacs. Same thing but slightly thinner and faster, Weee! Look at the “next generation” iPad 4. It’s an iPad 3 with a lighting connector, AMAZING!

        Now, if they do the same thing and release an iPhone 5S, that’ll be it for me. Phones like the Galaxy Note II and even the Nokia Lumia series are starting to look pretty good. They’re new, innovative, and have MANY more features (well, the note does). I’ve noticed that Apple keeps suing Sammy because Samsung has actually been INNOVATING and releasing amazing products for the past year while Apple just takes their old tech, puts it on stage, and calls it new. Apple has become the boring company that follows everyone else now.

        Hate me all you want Apple fans, but the fact is is that Samsung is now the company to look towards for amazing new products that push the envelope.

      • I was 100% with you until you said “Samsung is now the company to look towards for amazing new products that push the envelope.” which us pure BS … samsung makes cheap crappie stuff that runs lame android that stiill can scroll smoothly even on quad core hardware

  • Obsidian71

    I can’t believe you guys are actually chatting about this subject. The only yawn i’m getting is yet another content free post from Ed Sutherland. Are you really telling me that this was the best article idownloadblog could deliver on this Friday? Come on guys ….sure it’s a free site but some of us value our time. Bring a bit more content please.

  • ralphpetrillo

    I Pad mini is amazing, Great buying opportunity. For China will buy millions of them.

  • Mandl Cho

    aaaand it’s funny how we have so many haters on the comments. gotta wonder why they’re here in the first place.