New iPad cleared for sale in China

Wi-Fi version of Apple's newest iPad approved by China, and sales of the tablet could start as soon as next month, report says.

Apple's third and latest version of its iPad tablet can now be legitimately sold in China, after local authorities approved the Wi-Fi version for sale in the country.

Technology blog All Things Digital reported Tuesday that the China Quality Certification Center (CQCC) recently granted the iPad with the compulsory certification necessary for Apple to sell it in China.

Apple has not yet announced a formal launch date for the iPad in China, but the device could debut on shelves as early as April, the report said.

The approval signals a victory for Cupertino, which is embroiled in an ongoing trademark spat with the Chinese subsidiary of Taiwanese company Proview over the iPad name. The Shenzhen-based arm maintains it owns the rights to the iPad trademark in mainland China, and has been seeking to ban the sale of iPads in the country. The spat has already led to earlier versions of the iPad being taken off shelves in some Chinese cities.

News of the approval came amid Apple CEO Tim Cook's visit to China, its biggest growth market, for talks with government officials to address issues pertaining to the iPad trademark dispute and allegedly harsh labor conditions in local factories that manufacture hardware components for Apple devices, noted Reuters.

The latest iPad, unveiled by Apple earlier this month, is already available in some Asian markets including Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia. Singapore and Hong Kong were previously not among the first countries to sell the iPad 2 device when it was launched, and analysts observed that the inclusion of more Asian countries is a sign of the region's growing significance to Apple.