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iPhone 5 and iPads on sale in China in next few days

Apple has announced its iPads and iPhone will hit China imminently.

Apple has announced the iPhone 5, iPad and iPad mini will go on sale in China in just a few days.

The tablets will hit the shelves first, with the iPad mini and latest iPad (sporting the Retina display) on sale on 7 December. That's this Friday. The iPhone 5 will follow a week later, on 14 December.

Strangely, it's only the Wi-Fi-only versions of the iPad that will be on sale. Anyone in China wanting to get online on their brand new Apple tablet will need a Wi-Fi hotspot. There's no word on which networks the iPhone 5 will be on either -- I've contacted Apple and will update this story if I hear back.

Previously, we reported that China's biggest network, China Mobile, wouldn't offer the handset. But China Unicom and China Telecom, the second and third biggest respectively, did mention they would be stocking the iPhone 5. China Mobile has around 700 million customers, which I'm sure Apple won't want to miss out on.

Apple has just started selling the iPhone 5 SIM-free in the UK and US. So there's a chance it could do the same in China, opening it up to anyone who can afford it.

Here in Blighty, the SIM-free 16GB model costs £529. Which isn't cheap. Especially considering the 8GB Google Nexus 4 costs less than half that, at just £239.

Pre-orders for the devices in China start on 6 December, just a day before the iPads go on sale. If you're passing by and fancy picking one up, head to the nearest Apple Store, reseller, or place your order online.

Would you buy an iPhone 5 SIM-free? Or has Android or Windows Phone 8 got your vote? Maybe you're holding out for BB10 next year? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.