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Is the new iPad somehow less worthy of an unruly mob than the iPhone 4S? Judging from the very quiet and by the numbers launch of the new iPad today in China, it would seem to be the case.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the new iPad launched without much of a hitch in China on Friday, sans the "unruly buyers and sullen crowds" that turned out several months back for the iPhone 4S.
"Roughly 40 customers quietly lined up Friday morning outside the Apple Store in Beijing’s high-end Sanlitun shopping and restaurant district," the report said. "They waited within a cordon surrounded security personnel and reporters. Store doors opened at 8 a.m. without disturbances.
"Sales at Apple’s other four company-branded retail stores in China also appeared to go smoothly," the report added.
That pales in comparison to the debut of the iPhone 4S back in January, which forced Apple to briefly suspend sales of the iconic handset in Chinese stores after "unruly customers" forced police to rope off that area of the Sanlitun mall. A similar situation in May, 2011 over the white iPhone 4 found store managers locking the doors after customers "scuffled with employees."
So how did Apple manage to curb the anxious enthusiasm of the Chinese masses?
"For the launch of the new iPad, Apple instituted a system new to the location in which buyers were required to take reservations beginning on Thursday, the day before the launch," the report reveals. "Customers were then given a set time to pick up their devices."
That seems downright civilized compared to the recent trademark spat over the iPad name that kept the third-generation tablet from launching in China.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter
(Image courtesy of The Wall Street Journal & European Pressphoto Agency)