Previous Apple launches in China have been marked by nothing so much as unadulterated chaos, as riots have broken out and scalpers have pitched the wares just feet from official entrances. However, the launch of the new iPad in China today has encountered none of that, as lines have been short and orderly.
Why are things going so much more smoothly this time around? For one, everyone who wanted a tablet had to register their interest online first in a reservation system. This was to cut down on scalpers who would buy in bulk and resell.
The other possible explanation is one put forward by Reuters’ Jon Gordon in the video above — where he posits that grey market smuggled iPads have been flowing freely into mainland China from Hong Kong for some time, and that much of the thirst for the device has already been slaked. If you can get a device easily for months before the official launch, it does make sense that when it comes out for real, it wouldn’t be a particularly big deal.