Data from research firm IDC shows that Apple’s iPad shipments to China nearly doubled in the third quarter, following the company’s settlement with Proview over the “iPad” trademark in the country. The dispute took almost half a year to resolve, during which Chinese authorities forced distributors to stop selling the iPad.
The iPad 3 finally went on sale in China in July, after Apple paid Proview $60 million for the “iPad” trademark.
Shipments of the tablet in the third quarter reached 2.07 million units, up from 1.15 million in the previous quarter, according to Dickie Chang, an analyst with research firm IDC. He attributed the shipment growth to Apple finally gaining ownership of the iPad trademark in China, which cleared the way for sales of the new product.
The growth in iPad shipments further cements Apple’s dominance of China’s tablet market. After Apple, the next largest vendor is Lenovo, which shipped only 278,000 tablets in the third quarter. Samsung, the country’s third top tablet vendor, moved 143,000 units.
While shipment figures are not the same as sales, they are an indicator of Apple’s expectations from the region. Apple has, in fact, spent a lot of time adding China specific features into iOS 6 and Mountain Lion, anticipating high growth in demand from the region over the next few years.
The iPad 4 and the iPad mini will certainly boost sales in China once the they launch, but we expect Apple to first focus on getting the iPhone 5 to China, which is currently waiting for regulatory approval from Chinese authorities.