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Apple's new iPad goes on sale in Taiwan

2012/05/11 13:06:10

Taipei, May 11 (CNA) The latest version of Apple Inc.'s iPad went on sale in Taiwan on Friday, with telecom operators in the country selling the Apple tablet PC for the first time.

Taiwan Mobile Co., the country's second largest carrier, was the first off the mark, opening sales at 9:45 a.m., while Far EasTone Telecommunications Co. started at 10:15 a.m.

Scores of people were lined up outside the Taipei stores of the two companies hours before opening time despite the fact that both carriers began taking pre-orders for the 4G-equipped version of the new iPad 5 on May 1.

Chen Ming-hsiang, 59, was at the front of the line at a Far EasTone store, having arrived there at 7:30 a.m.

"I've never tried any Apple products before but I’ve been told they're simple and easy to use," Chen said.

He said he has used desktop and laptop computers and was ready to give the tablet PC a try.

At a Taiwan Mobile store, Sharlin Yeh was first in line. She had lined up for an hour to buy a white 64GB model of the new iPad, which she said it would make a great Mother's Day present.

Taiwan's top carrier Chunghwa Telecom Co. did not gain distribution rights from Apple for the new iPad but is planning to offer rate plans for iPads purchased at electronics retail stores.

Previously, only retailers such as Tsann Kuen Enterprise Co. and DataExpress Infotech Co. were permitted to distribute iPads in Taiwan.

The new iPad features a high definition "retina" display, a 5-megapixel camera and a quad-core processor.

The 4G version is being sold at NT$19,500 (US$665) for the 16GB model, NT$22,500 for the 32GB model and NT$25,500 for the 64GB model.

Both Far EasTone and Taiwan Mobile are offering various 3G service rate plans at lower prices for each model.

The latest iPad can run on selected 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) networks in the United States and Canada but that high-speed data transmission service does not extend to Taiwan because there are no LTE operators in the country.

(By James Lee)