Apple stores in Beijing and Shanghai as well as authorised retailers around the country began offering the Wi-Fi model of the touchscreen device, millions of which have already been sold in the United States and a dozen other nations.
Analysts predicted strong demand for the iPad despite a paucity of Chinese content and the country’s huge unofficial market for Apple products, which are slipped in from Hong Kong, Singapore and the United States and resold.
At the US tech giant’s Beijing store, Han Ziwen, 35, said he had camped out for 60 hours to ensure he was first in line when the flagship outlet’s doors opened at 8:00 am.
Wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with “I buy iPad No. 1”, the bookstore owner held two of the sleek computers above his head in a victory sign as hundreds of people standing in the driving rain cheered.