The iPad 2 debuted in China this morning to what is fast becoming a standard reception: massive lines and quick stock-outs.
That the device had been unofficially available on the market--through sellers who brought it into the country after buying the device overseas--did little to quell demand, which drove hundreds of hopeful buyers to queue overnight outside Apple's four stores in Beijing and Shanghai. "When we arrived here at around 4 a.m., there were already more than 500 people waiting," an Apple security guard at the company's downtown Beijing store told Xinhua. "The crowd rose to some 1,000 people when the store opened."
Sales began promptly at 8 a.m., the first retail stock-out was reported about four hours later, and by Friday afternoon the iPad shipping estimates at Apple's Chinese Online Store had gone from "1-2 weeks" to "No Supply."
So a very strong first-day showing for the iPad 2 in China, and one that suggests Apple's decision to make China top priority is paying off in a very big way. According to Analysys International, Apple was able to claim a 78 percent share of China's tablet market with the first iPad. How much more will it claim now, given the staggering response to the launch of the second?