ipad 10 Apple China

Chinese Consumers Are Not Impressed With Apple’s New iPads

Apple unveiled its newest iPad and iPad Pro models last night while also raising the prices of older models, much to the disgust of netizens

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Hayley Zhao
4:55 PM HKT, Wed October 19, 2022 1 mins read

On October 18, Apple announced the next generation of iPads. Some Apple fans, or guo fen (果粉), as they call themselves in China, stayed up late for the unveiling but were disappointed by the new products and their pricing.

“‘Shocking’ is the only word I can find to describe [the new launch],” wrote a user on Zhihu, a Chinese social media platform similar to Quora. “To sum it up in one sentence: Apple is truly letting it rot (Chinese internet lexicon for ‘throwing in the towel’) and has no shame.”

The new iPad 10 is priced from 3,599 RMB (about 499 USD), while the new iPad Pro starts at 6,799 RMB (around 943 USD). Compared to the last generation’s models, both cost around 1,000 RMB (about 139 USD) more.

However, the higher prices don’t justify any significant technological advances in either of the gadgets. While the new iPad 10 has simply been redesigned, making it look more like the Air and Pro models with USB Type-C connectors, the new iPad Pro has an upgraded M2 chip, giving it a 20% speed boost.

iPad 10 Apple China

The new iPad 10. Image via Apple

Based on the online chatter, Chinese netizens are clearly not satisfied with the limited upgrades. Some have even gone as far as to call the design of the new iPad 10 “moronic.”

The new model only supports the first-generation Apple Pencil, which requires a Lightning connector. Potential customers asking Apple how to charge their Apple Pencils using their iPad have been told they’ll need to buy a separate adapter for 67 RMB (around 9.3 USD).

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A Weibo user’s illustration explains how to charge the Apple Pencil using the iPad 10. Image via Weibo

Some citizens with limited financial resources have waited a long time for the new models to drop, as they had hoped to buy the older ones at a lower price. But their dreams were dashed last night, as Apple has also raised the prices of its earlier models.

The 256-gigabyte Wi-Fi+Cellular model of the iPad Air 5, launched in March, sees the steepest price increase — it now costs 600 RMB (approximately 83 USD) more.

Some users on the Chinese micro-blogging platform Weibo have jokingly called their iPad Air 5 a successful investment product. The hashtag ‘iPad prices rising significantly across the board’ (#iPad全线大涨价#) had amassed over 100 million views at the time of writing.

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Apple’s splash screen ad for its new iPads. Screenshot via Weibo

Apple has been relatively successful in the Chinese mainland since it entered the market, with customers forming long lines outside their flagship stores ahead of new product drops. Some privileged customers even pay professional queuers to stand in line for them.

How will Apple’s newest tablets fair with Chinese consumers? We’ll find out when the iPad 10 and the new Pro model hit store shelves on October 26.

Cover image via Apple’s press release

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