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iPhone 5, iPad mini heading to China

Apple announced Friday that, with approval in hand from the Chinese government, the company will begin selling its iPhone 5 and WiFi versions of its iPad mini starting Dec. 7. The fourth-generation iPad will also go on sale at the same time.

According to the company’s release, customers must make reservations at Apple stores to pick up the gadgets in person. Stores will accept those requests daily during regular business hours for next-day pickup. The gadgets will also, of course, be sold online.

The iPad mini starts at $329, while the newest iPad and iPhone have an opening cost of $399 and $199, respectively.

Demand for Apple products is high in China, making the country one of Apple’s most important international markets. In the company’s last earnings call, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said China accounted for 15 percent of the company’s sales for the fiscal year.

Sales of the iPhone and iPad increased in China in the October quarter, Cook said. He added that the market was still an “extremely exciting” one for the company.

On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Chinese regulator in charge of wireless devices had approved a device similar to the iPhone 5 for licensing in the country. The paper had previously reported that China Unicom would be offering the phone before the end of the year, echoing Cook’s earnings call assertion that the phone would be on sale in December.

The iPad mini, fourth-generation iPad and iPhone 5 are available in 47 countries, including the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the U.K.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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