China to get cellular-enabled 4th-gen iPad and iPad mini available this week

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Apple on Monday announced it will be starting sales of Wi-Fi and cellular versions of the fourth-generation iPad and iPad mini in China this Friday.

The announcement comes nearly one month after China's telecommunications agency granted Apple the appropriate licenses to sell cellular-enabled versions of its two latest tablets in the country.

China saw the relatively quiet launch of Apple's newest iPad and iPad mini in early December, the same month in which the iPhone 5 was released.

Apple's two partner carriers in the region, China Unicom and China Telecom, are expected to be carrying the new iPads at launch, though the nation's largest provider China Mobile will not be selling the devices. In an interview with Chinese media last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed he had met with the world's largest wireless carrier during his recent trip to China last week, but the subject of the talks have yet to be disclosed.

It was reported in November that the iPad was dominating the Chinese tablet marketplace with a 71 percent share of all sales.

Chinese customers will be able to purchase the fourth-generation iPad mini and iPad mini from brick-and-mortar Apple Stores, the Online Apple Store and Apple Authorized Resellers.