As Apple officially announces that the latest-generation iPad and iPad Mini will launch in China on December 7, the latest research from Analysys International shows that the company has already built up a 71.4 percent share of the Chinese tablet market and is therefore in the best possible position to consolidate its position further.
Apple fans shows off their newly purchased Apple's iPad minis in front of the Apple Store Ginza in Tokyo. The 7.9 inch iPad mini marks the iPhone-maker's first foray into the smaller-tablet segment. Reuters/Yuriko Nakao
Apple's closest competitor, Chinese electronics firm Lenovo Group currently has 10.5 percent while Samsung is languishing in fourth place with 3.5 percent of sales.
The tablet market in China has grown by 63 percent in the past 12 months, fueled in part by consumers' demand for cheaper internet access. And while tablets are more expensive than smartphones (China has this year become the world's largest smartphone market, overtaking the US for the first time), they are easier to share, don't require a data contract in order to connect to the web and are less expensive than a full-size PC or notebook computer.
Nevertheless, at prices starting at the equivalent of $399 for the iPad Mini and $499 for the full-sized fourth generation iPad, Apple is still demanding a significant price for its products. How long it will be able to maintain its dominant position while continuing to charge a premium, in China or anywhere else outside of the US, remains to be seen.