The iPad Air and Retina iPad Mini have been available now in China for some time, but today the TD-LTE versions are launching in the People's Republic.
The addition of TD-LTE brings compatibility with the 4G networks of China, enabling all of the cellular features like GPS, browsing on the go, and even using the device's connection as a mobile hotspot. In addition to TD-LTE, the two iPads also support HSPA+, DC-HSDPA, and GSM/EDGE. Apart from those radios, these iPads are the same iPads as you can get throughout the rest of the world, down to the 64-bit Apple A7 that powers them.
What is it that makes TD-LTE different than the LTE we use elsewhere in the world? Whereas standard LTE uses the same frequency for downloads and uploads, and engages in dynamic rate adjustment. It operates best at higher frequencies, which the Chinese government was able to repurpose — frequencies that are cheaper to operate on and can handle more traffic over a greater distance.
iPad Air & iPad mini with LTE Performance Available in China Today
iPad Air features a stunning 9.7-inch Retina display in a thin and light design. Precision-engineered to weigh just one pound with a narrow bezel, the borders of iPad Air make content even more immersive. iPad mini with Retina display brings all the pixels from the 9.7-inch iPad to its 7.9-inch screen, delivering razor sharp text and detail in a design that offers 35 percent more screen real estate than 7-inch tablets. iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display feature the powerful and power-efficient Apple-designed A7 chip with 64-bit desktop-class architecture, ultrafast wireless with built-in WLAN, support for fast cellular networks around the world, an incredible 10 hours of battery life,** and iOS 7 featuring hundreds of great features and access to over 500,000 apps designed specifically for iPad.
iPad Air with WLAN models are available in silver or space gray for a suggested retail price of 3,588 (RMB) for the 16GB model, 4,288 (RMB) for the 32GB model, 4,988 (RMB) for the 64GB model and 5,688 (RMB) for the 128GB model. iPad Air with WLAN + Cellular models supporting TD-LTE join existing iPad Air WLAN + Cellular models in China for a suggested retail price of 4,488 (RMB) for the 16GB model, 5,188 (RMB) for the 32GB model, 5,888 (RMB) for the 64GB model and 6,588 (RMB) for the 128GB model. iPad mini with Retina display WLAN models, in silver or space gray, are available for a suggested retail price of 2,888 (RMB) for the 16GB model, 3,588 (RMB) for the 32GB model, 4,288 (RMB) for the 64GB model and 4,988 (RMB) for the 128GB model. iPad mini with Retina display WLAN + Cellular models supporting TD-LTE join existing iPad mini with Retina display WLAN + Cellular models in China for a suggested retail price of 3,788 (RMB) for the 16GB model, 4,488 (RMB) for the 32GB model, 5,188 (RMB) for the 64GB model and 5,888 (RMB) for the 128GB model. Additionally, iPad with Retina display, the most affordable 9.7-inch iPad, is now offered in black or white for a suggested retail price of 2,888 (RMB) for the 16GB WLAN model and 3,788 (RMB) for the 16GB WLAN + Cellular model, and the original iPad mini in silver or space gray is offered at 2,098 (RMB) for the 16GB WLAN model and 2,988 (RMB) for the 16GB WLAN + Cellular model. In China, all iPad models are available through Apple retail stores, the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com/cn), and select Apple Authorized Resellers.
*Network speeds are dependent on carrier networks. Check with your carrier for details. **Battery life depends on device settings, usage and other factors. Actual results vary.
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.
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Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.