Apple is about to complete an important part of the puzzle for the new iPad's world rollout: it just confirmed that its Retina display-packing tablet will reach mainland China on July 20th. The company isn't specific about local pricing, but it's promising both WiFi and cellular versions at its own stores and through resellers. The company is keen to avoid some of the mobs and scalping it's seen in the past and will open reservations for pickup starting on July 19th -- although the company is unusually limiting the reservation window to just three hours each day, between 9AM and noon. No matter how it shakes out, the official Chinese expansion is likely to keep the number of slingshot-delivered imports to a minimum.
Update: As some commenters have noted, the Chinese launch is helped mostly by the truce with Proview. The current iPad design has been certified since March; Apple isn't about to mention Proview by name in the release, but it likely wasn't keen on risking another store ban when it could just avoid the battle altogether.
New iPad Arrives in China on Friday, July 20
CUPERTINO, Calif., Jul 10, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Apple(R) today announced the new iPad(R), the third generation of its category defining mobile device, will arrive in China on Friday, July 20. The new iPad features a stunning new Retina(TM) display, Apple's new A5X chip with quad-core graphics and a 5 megapixel iSight(R) camera with advanced optics for capturing amazing photos and 1080p HD video. The new iPad still delivers the same all-day 10 hour battery life* while remaining amazingly thin and light.
The new iPad Wi-Fi models will be available in black or white for a suggested retail price of $499 (US) for the 16GB model, $599 (US) for the 32GB model and $699 (US) for the 64GB model. The iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular models will be available for a suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the 32GB model and $829 (US) for the 64GB model. In China the new iPad will be available through the Apple Online Store ( www.apple.com ), select Apple Authorized Resellers and by reservation from Apple retail stores. Reservation requests will be accepted daily from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. beginning Thursday, July 19 for pick up the following day. Additionally, iPad 2 is available at a more affordable price starting at just $399 (US).
*Battery life depends on device settings, usage and other factors. Actual results vary.