Clearly, Apple thought it had done the right thing, and a Chinese court in Hong Kong even ruled that the purchase was valid for China, but a Chinese court on the mainland in Shenzen disagreed.
Thus, the tussle continued, threatening to derail official sales of the iPad in China, despite booming import grey market sales of the tablet that, ironically, is made in China anyway.
While Proview Shenzen is reported to have wanted $2 billion and more in damages, the reality as reported by Reuters is starkly different: a mere $60 million is all it has taken for Apple to secure the iPad name, a sum that is substantially smaller than $2 billion.
That said, given Proview’s precarious state of “almost out of business”, the $60m injection is still a heck of a lot of money. Still, whether this will see any kind of resurgence for Proview, which once was a highly successful monitor maker, is unknown.
Reuters had quoted an analyst as noting that Apple had lifted its “two iPads per customer” restriction in Hong Kong as a way to get around the iPad ban in China, but now that a settlement has occurred, official sales in China could now begin, apparently in September – which, of course, is just in time for the end-of-year sales bonanza.
China is also an incredibly important and profitable market for Apple, with Apple going so far as to make very special adjustments to iOS so that entry of Chinese characters, pinyin and more is easier for Chinese speakers.
Indeed, China currently delivers nearly 20% of Apple’s revenue, showing just how massive the Middle Kingdom has become for Apple’s global gadget sales.
We can’t forget either that China is rich, with well over a trillion US dollars in trade surpluses, with a middle class that is slowly growing and with a gadget appetite that rivals the rest of the tech-savvy world.
So, now that the iPad iConundrum and legal fight is finally over, the Chinese made iPad can finally be sold legally in China once more, resulting in less expensive official Chinese iPads and what will surely be very happy Chinese iChappies.