July 10, 2012 / 3:34 PM / 7 years ago

New iPad hits China July 20, well behind other markets

A man inspects the Apple New iPad (L) next to an iPad 2 at an electronics store in Mumbai April 27, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

(Reuters) - Apple Inc’s latest iPad finally hits store shelves in China on July 20, months after the newest model of the tablet computer went on sale around the globe, the company said on Tuesday.

The product’s rollout in the world’s No. 2 economy comes weeks after the iPhone maker finally settled a dispute over the iPad trademark, paying local company Proview Technology $60 million in a court-mediated settlement.

China is a crucial market for Apple, but the company has to fend off growing competition and has come under criticism for not addressing alleged labor abuses at Foxconn and other contract manufacturers. In March, Apple agreed with Foxconn to improve wages and working conditions.

Apple’s sales in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan leaped threefold to $7.9 billion in the fiscal second quarter ended March, accounting for about a fifth of global revenue.

The iPad, whose latest model went on sale in March in 10 countries from Australia to the United States, currently dominates China’s tablet PC market with a more than 70 percent market share.

But homegrown PC maker Lenovo Group Ltd’s Lepads and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s Galaxy Tabs have been gaining traction.

Shares of Apple edged up 0.1 percent to $614.44 in morning trading.

Reporting by Edwin Chan in San Francisco; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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