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Cellular 4th-gen iPad, iPad Mini to land in China on Friday

The arrival will come about a week after Apple CEO Tim Cook indicated that the models would be in China by the end of the month.

The cellular version of the iPad Mini will find its way to China on Friday.
CBS Interactive

The Wi-Fi and cellular versions of the iPad Mini and the fourth-generation iPad with Retina Display will be available for purchase in China on Friday, Apple announced today.

These iPad models, which are now available in more than 100 countries, will be available through Apple's online store, Apple retail stores, and select authorized resellers, Apple said in a statement. Earlier reports indicated that the cellular versions would be designed to work on China Telecom and China Unicom networks.

The announcement comes less than a week after Apple CEO Tim Cook promised during an interview that an iPad Mini with cellular functionality would be coming to China "in late January," although he declined to provide an exact release day. The company previously said it would launch these iPads in China in December, but didn't say if that only applied to the Wi-Fi versions or would also include the cellular models.

Since its launch in China last month, the iPad Mini with Wi-Fi has proven extremely successful, with Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White saying that consumers in China and Hong Kong have "an insatiable appetite" for Apple's smaller slate. During the third quarter, Apple's slate grabbed 71.4 percent of the country's tablet market, easily besting Lenovo's 10.5 percent share.