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iPad makes quiet debut in China

An online reservation system allowed Apple to avoid the chaotic scenes associated with the company's previous product launches in China.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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The new iPad makes a low-key debut in China compared with earlier Apple product launches. Apple

The iPad made a quiet debut in China on Friday, devoid of the chaotic scenes associated with previous Apple product launches in the fast-growing market.

Orderly crowds outside Apple Stores in Shanghai and Beijing surprised Apple observers in China, who are used to lines of fans waiting overnight in long, snaking lines while scalpers hawk premium spots at the head of the line.

"I'm very surprised that there is no line," Sun Xufei, an IT worker who was the first in line of about 20 people waiting outside the Shanghai Lujiazui Apple store, told Reuters. "I thought there was going be a long line so I came over a bit earlier to pick it up."

The launch of Apple's tablet comes less than three weeks after the Cupertino, Calif.-based consumer electronics giant settled its dispute with Shenzhen-based Proview over the ownership of the name for $60 million.

Apple implemented an online reservation system to avoid the riotous crowds in China that accompanied the January launch of the iPhone 4S in Beijing after the company decided it would not sell the device on its pre-announced launch.