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China may soon see iPad Minis, newest iPads in 3G (and 4G)

The cellular versions of Apple's newest tablets cleared regulatory hurdles last week, indicating they might launch soon.

The iPad Mini.
The iPad Mini.

Apple might soon launch 3G versions of its fourth-generation iPad and iPad Mini in China.

China-based TechWeb reported (translation) today that a cellular version of the iPad and the iPad Mini cleared the country's regulatory hurdles last week, potentially paving the way for the device to launch before long.

Apple launched the Wi-Fi-only versions of the iPad and iPad Mini on December 7. 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.

According to TechWeb, the cellular versions are designed for China Telecom and China Unicom networks. The blog said that while the iPad will be able to connect to 4G networks in China, the technology is not ubiquitous in the country, so Apple's mention of "cellular" on its China Web site typically refers to 3G connectivity.

The iPad has proven extremely popular in China. 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.

Apple last week launched the iPhone 5 in China. The company sold 2 million units in just three days of availability, becoming Apple's most successful China iPhone launch yet.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment on the TechWeb report. We will update this story when we have more information.

(Via The Next Web)