Apple’s iPad Mini And 4th Gen iPad Arrive In China December 7, iPhone 5 Follows December 14

People queue up to buy the new iPad during its China launch at the Apple store in Shanghai

Apple has just announced the official release date of the iPad mini, 4th generation iPad and iPhone 5 in China. The tablets will go on sale next Friday, December 7 in that country, and the iPhone 5 will arrive on December 14, a week afterwards. This comes following news that the iPhone 5 has met all the regulatory requirements in China it needed to go on sale.

Apple CEO Tim Cook had said that the iPhone 5 would go on sale in China in December during Apple’s most recent quarterly conference call, and that statement was recently backed up by the chairman of China Telecom. Apple doesn’t specify which networks the iPhone 5 will be available on in China, but the phone is cleared for sale on both China Telecom and China Unicom’s networks. Apple will sell the iPhone in China through its online store, official retail stores and select authorized channel partners. The iPad mini will likewise be sold through the same outlets, and both devices can be reserved in advance. Reservations for the iPad mini and 4th gen iPad begin December 6.

Apple mentions only Wi-Fi versions of the iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad in its release, so it looks like the cellular-enabled versions of Apple’s tablet won’t be available at launch. Earlier reports had indeed pegged the iPad mini for a December launch in China, and had also cautioned that the cellular version likely wouldn’t arrive at the same time.

Launches of Apple products in China have taken on growing importance for Apple, which continues to see impressive growth in its Greater China market sales. iPhone sales were up 38 percent in China last quarter year over year, but there could be a tremendous amount of pent-up demand for a new model, according to an analyst report from late summer. Many will be watching these launches to see just how strong the appetite is for Apple devices in the increasingly important Chinese market.


TechCrunch » Gadgets

Microsoft Finally Talks Surface Pro Pricing: 64GB For $899, 128GB For $999

Surface-1-2

Microsoft’s Windows RT-powered Surface has been… polarizing to say the least, leaving many a gadget fiend pondering the prospect of buying the more powerful Surface Pro instead.

The Redmond-based company has been keeping quiet when it came to the Pro’s more salient details, but Microsoft has finally come forward with some new info — the Surface Pro will be available in 64GB and 128GB models in January 2013, which will cost users $ 899 and $ 999, respectively.

Honestly, I’m looking forward to seeing just how much of that internal memory will actually be available to users from the get-go, especially considering how things played out on the RT version. If you’ll recall, users who picked up the base 32GB Surface RT ended up only ended up with about 16GB of free space, despite originally being assured that they would have closer to 20GB to play with.

As previously noted, both models will ship with a Surface pen for more precise touch input, but users looking for a faster way to bang out essays and angry missives may still want to purchase a Touch or Type Cover. Some of the Surface Pro’s other particulars have been public knowledge for a while now — it’s a bit heavier than the RT model (though still less than 2 lbs), but it packs an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 1080p display into that handsome VaporMG chassis. Other enhancements over the Surface RT include a full-size USB 3.0 port, a Mini DisplayPort jack, and (naturally) a beefier battery to run the show.

This is certainly a gutsy move for Microsoft — these price points put the Surface within striking distance of existing (not to mention well-reviewed) Windows 8 convertibles like the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga. As Gizmodo points out too, the price of a 64GB Surface Pro and a keyboard cover inches past that of an 11-inch MacBook Air, which may mean the Surface Pro could be left in a sort of no man’s land between lightweight laptops and more traditional tablets. Don’t get me wrong, I think the Surface Pro has a shot at success (I’ve grown rather fond of my own Surface RT), but we’ll soon see how the company’s hardware fortunes turn out.


TechCrunch » Gadgets

Apple Will Reportedly Start Selling Unlocked iPhones As Early As Tonight In The U.S.

iPhone-5

Apple has yet to release the unlocked iPhone 5 in the U.S., even though early on they let images leak depicting pricing of that device on its website. Now a new report from 9t05Mac claims that the company will start selling unlocked iPhones as early as tonight via its online store, with physical retail availability coming shortly thereafter. As we reported at launch, unlocked pricing for the iPhones will be $ 649, $ 749 and $ 849 respectively for the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions.

9to5Mac’s generally solid retail sources say that the phone will be made available unlocked beginning around 9 PM PT tonight at the earliest, and that physical stores will have them “soon,” but haven’t received a firm starting date for sales as of yet. The report does claim that unlocked device inventory is already making its way out to retail locations, however, in advance of being put on sale. Finally, their sources also indicate that customers will start being able to reserve devices ahead of time anytime, rather than just after 10 PM, as is the current practice.

Unlocked devices are on the market through Apple in other markets, like the Canadian store. These come SIM-unlocked, meaning you can use them with the carrier and plan of your choice. Customers still have to ensure that the version of the iPhone they pick up is compatible with the network of their choosing. In the U.S., Apple offers two versions of the iPhone, one that works with Sprint and Verizon 4G networks, and one that works with AT&T frequencies. It’s unclear from this report whether both versions will be made available unlocked, but hopefully we’ll find out later this evening.


TechCrunch » Gadgets

Gift Guide: HTC One X+

giftguide-1280px-htc-one-x+

Short Version

Android phones! There are some that I love. The HTC One X was one of those, thanks to a very attractive external package alongside an Android skin (Sense) that had a fairly light touch and didn’t mess with most of Android’s good features, but brought some nice additional touches to the mix. The HTC One X+ is like the One X, but made better in nearly every important respect. Not surprisingly, that improves my impression of it, too.

Long Version

Features:

  • Fast, quad-core processor
  • LTE network support
  • 64GB of built-in storage

Info:

  • Android 4.1
  • 1200 x 720, 4.7-inch display
  • MSRP: $ 650 unlocked, $ 199.99 on two-year term
  • Product page

The HTC One X+ is…

… A powerful upgrade of HTC’s well-designed and executed HTC One X flagship Android phone. It brings an improved quad core processor to the mix, which is double the number of cores on the U.S. version of the One X, and it’s faster at 1.7 GHz. It has double the storage of the One X, and a beefier battery at 2100mAh. That’s especially nice, because the original already impressed with its 1800mAh power reserve.

Buy the HTC One X+ for…

… Anyone looking for their first Android phone. Seriously, the One X+ is a fantastic device that improves on its predecessor where it counts (performance and battery life) and leaves everything else pretty much the same. That’s a very good thing. Especially for newbies, HTC’s phones do a good job of delivering Android in a package that may not appeal to Android purists, but that definitely hits a sweet spot for general users.

Because…

… HTC just quietly goes around doing a great job at making smartphones. It’s amazing to me that this company doesn’t get more of the U.S. consumer market. Samsung makes some fine phones, but if I’m feeling a little Android, I’d much rather grab the One X+, despite better battery life and cameras on the Galaxy S III and Note II. The only real downside of this device is that it’s still a little pricy on contract, but if you’ve got the money and Samsung’s designs just don’t excite you, this is the way to go.


TechCrunch » Gadgets

Gift Guide: HTC One X+

giftguide-1280px-htc-one-x+

Short Version

Android phones! There are some that I love. The HTC One X was one of those, thanks to a very attractive external package alongside an Android skin (Sense) that had a fairly light touch and didn’t mess with most of Android’s good features, but brought some nice additional touches to the mix. The HTC One X+ is like the One X, but made better in nearly every important respect. Not surprisingly, that improves my impression of it, too.

Long Version

Features:

  • Fast, quad-core processor
  • LTE network support
  • 64GB of built-in storage

Info:

  • Android 4.1
  • 1200 x 720, 4.7-inch display
  • MSRP: $ 650 unlocked, $ 199.99 on two-year term
  • Product page

The HTC One X+ is…

… A powerful upgrade of HTC’s well-designed and executed HTC One X flagship Android phone. It brings an improved quad core processor to the mix, which is double the number of cores on the U.S. version of the One X, and it’s faster at 1.7 GHz. It has double the storage of the One X, and a beefier battery at 2100mAh. That’s especially nice, because the original already impressed with its 1800mAh power reserve.

Buy the HTC One X+ for…

… Anyone looking for their first Android phone. Seriously, the One X+ is a fantastic device that improves on its predecessor where it counts (performance and battery life) and leaves everything else pretty much the same. That’s a very good thing. Especially for newbies, HTC’s phones do a good job of delivering Android in a package that may not appeal to Android purists, but that definitely hits a sweet spot for general users.

Because…

… HTC just quietly goes around doing a great job at making smartphones. It’s amazing to me that this company doesn’t get more of the U.S. consumer market. Samsung makes some fine phones, but if I’m feeling a little Android, I’d much rather grab the One X+, despite better battery life and cameras on the Galaxy S III and Note II. The only real downside of this device is that it’s still a little pricy on contract, but if you’ve got the money and Samsung’s designs just don’t excite you, this is the way to go.


TechCrunch » android