China to get iPhone 5, iPad Mini in December

The diminutive tablet will be available starting December 7, along with the larger fourth-generation iPad. The iPhone 5 hits stores a week later.

Apple store Shanghai
If you're shopping in Shanghai, here's one place you'll find Apple products. Apple

It's official: China will move into the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini era next month.

Apple announced this morning that the Wi-Fi versions of the iPad Mini and the fourth-generation iPad will be available in China on Friday, December 7, and the iPhone 5 on Friday, December 14.

Consumers in China will be able to get all three gadgets through the Apple Online Store, via select Apple resellers, and by reservation from Apple retail stores.

China is of huge significance for Apple, already accounting for about 15 percent ($23.8 billion) of the company's revenue for its fiscal year that ended in September. At the time, CEO Tim Cook said that Apple was projecting the arrival of the iPhone 5 in China during the December quarter.

It was just in recent days that the iPhone 5 passed its final regulatory hurdles in China.

In the face of vibrant competition, Apple recently slipped out of the top five smartphone vendors in China. Researcher Canalys said earlier this month that in the third quarter, the iPhone's share of shipments into the Chinese smartphone market dropped slightly to 8 percent . Market leader Samsung had 14 percent, and Chinese manufacturers accounted for the other four spots in the top five.

The iPad, meanwhile, has maintained a healthy grip on the Chinese market. In the third quarter, Apple had a 71 percent tablet market share in the country, while China's own Lenovo took just 10 percent, according to research firm Analysys International.

Apple brought the iPhone 5 first to the U.S. and a handful of other markets in late September. The iPad Mini and fourth-generation iPad went on sale in the U.S. and more than 30 other countries at the start of November.

Read the full CNET Review

Apple iPhone 5

The Bottom Line: The iPhone 5 completely rebuilds the iPhone on a framework of new features and design, addressing its major previous shortcomings. It's absolutely the best iPhone to date, and it easily secures its place in the top tier of the smartphone universe. / Read full review

About the author

Jonathan Skillings is managing editor of CNET News, based in the Boston bureau. He's been with CNET since 2000, after a decade in tech journalism at the IDG News Service, PC Week, and an AS/400 magazine. He's also been a soldier and a schoolteacher, and will always be a die-hard fan of jazz, the brassier the better.

 

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