Monday, February 13, 2012
The battle for the iPad name in China hit a new and potentially catastrophic level for Apple in the last few days. According to a new report, Chinese authorities have begun removing iPads from store shelves in certain parts of mainland China.
The first report of iPad seizures were revealed by the Hebei Youth Daily, and told of inspection teams confiscating roughly 45 iPads from Shijiazhuang stores in Northern China. As news of the seizures spread, many retailers in the area began voluntarily removing the iPad from store shelves to avoid having the device confiscated.
The local district's Administration of Industry and Commerce team reportedly took action starting on Feb. 9, following a complaint from Proview, which registered the iPad name for use in mainland China back in 2001. According to recent reports, Apple could face fines up to $38 million over the issue.
However, contrary to the actions taking place in Shijiazhuang, earlier today when I called the Sanlitun Apple store in Beijing the staff assured me that the iPad 2 was indeed available and for sale in the store. Similarly, the iPad 2 is still listed as for sale on the Chinese version of the online Apple store. And, so far, no other accounts of iPad seizures have been reported in other areas of mainland China.
Will Apple be forced to come up with a new name for the iPad in China? What would you call the iPad if you had to give it a new, China-specific name?
Earlier this month, Apple was forced to temporarily remove items from the its online store in Germany after losing a patent battle against Motorola.
According to rumors, Apple is set to unveil its next-gen iPad in early March, though Cupertino has yet to confirm.
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