Apple has launched a China version of its online store in simplified characters for customers in China – good news for Apple freaks who don’t feel like lining up outside one of the two stores here in Shanghai the next time Apple unveils a new product.
Chinese customers can now order their products online and have it delivered straight to their doorstep. Before this, customers could order online from Apple’s Chinese website but had to go to the stores themselves to pick up their purchases.The site says it is shipping iPhones in one to two weeks and iPads in 24 hours.
It’s the latest move by Apple to penetrate the lucrative Chinese market (China is the largest cell phone market and the second largest personal computer market) and the company is moving fast. Apple had only one store last year in China and depended largely on authorized resellers to reach customers, but says it has plans to open 25 Apple Stores in the country in 2011. Sounds fantastic–just as long as you don’t mind the special version of the maps app on Chinese iPhones.