This past weekend saw the iPad 2 go on sale. As expected the launch was a sell out success with some industry analysis’s predating Apple may have shipped as many as 500,000 iPad 2 tablets just this weekend!
Here in China we are still waiting for the camera equipped iPad 2 to launch. No time frame has been given and the only hint that it’s on its way is the sudden drop in price of the original iPad.
Official Apple stores and outlets have slashed the original Apple tablet price down from 3900 Yuan to 2888 Yuan! Not only is this huge drop in price a great indication the new iPad is making its way to China, but it also marks the first time Apple have been so aggressive with pricing after launching an upgraded version of its product.
Consumers in China (and the rest of the world where iPad 2 has yet to arrive) are faced with the problem of whether to wait for iPad 2 or to snatch up a bargain priced iPad while they are marked so low.
Chinese consumers, however have always had a cheap tablet option at hand even before the iPad’s price cut, the Shanzhai, or cloned iPad.
As regular reader will no doubt be aware, Chinese companies have been making the most of the iPad’s success by trying to imitate the 10 inch tablet with home-brewed versions running Android operating systems. It’s not only the copy cats that have had their fingers in the Android tablet market however, big names such as Hanvon, ZTE and Lenovo all have (or plan to launch) Android tablets, and this is where things might get messy.
Before the iPad price drop these Shanzhai Android tablets looked like a great way for someone to get in to the tablet market on the cheap without having to fork out nearly 4000 Yuan for an iPad, unfortunately most homegrown Chinese units are heavy, extremely buggy, have poor battery life and generally offer a pretty poor user experience, but worse of all is that many of them cost in excess of 2000 Yuan!