Apple reportedly looking to launch new iPad in China this month

Apple released its third-generation iPad in March of this year, and by most accounts it’s been wildly successful. The company sold nearly 12 million tablets last quarter. And thanks to its agressive international push, it’s expected to top that this time around.

There has been, however, one notable country left off the new iPad’s passport: China. Complicated government approval processes and a nasty trademark battle with Proview have kept the popular tablet out of Apple’s second largest consumer market.

But it looks like the wait is almost over…

M.I.C Gadget passes along a report from PCPOP, a Chinese Blog, who cites a “knowledgable source” in claims that Apple is planning to launch its new iPad in China on July 27th.

“It will be available for purchase in the Apple Stores in China and Suning electronics (one of the biggest consumer electronics retailers in China). As with the price, we’re expecting it to sell at the same price as the current iPad 2.”

Since Apple has yet to officially announce anything, we have to file this one away as a rumor. Although with the Proview case behind them, and government approvals on both Wi-Fi and 4G models, we can’t imagine Apple waiting much longer to send its iPad to China.

Home to more than a billion cell phone users, and hordes of gadget-lovers, China isn’t just a country, it’s a market. In fact, it’s Apple’s second largest market, behind the United States. So needless to say, launching its latest tablet in China is of upmost importance to the company.

That being said, pundits are worried that the third-generation iPad won’t be the hit in China that its predecessors were, pointing to poor reception of the tablet in Hong Kong’s grey market. They believe that since the new iPad looks so similar to the old one, Chinese consumers will more than likely pass it up and save their money for the next gadget that looks new and different.

I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

What do you think, will the third-gen iPad be a hit in China?