Ailing monitor biz Proview has done its best to spoil the third-gen iPad party by ordering Chinese distributors to not sell the shiny new tablet due to Apple’s unresolved trademark dispute with the firm.
Proview’s Shenzhen affiliate Proview Technology sent an open letter to Chinese resellers and suppliers urging them to drop Apple’s high-definition fondleslab as its court battle is still ongoing, according to Reuters.
“Anybody who continues to do so will be seen as intentionally infringing rights and the company will adopt the most severe measures by taking legal action,” the letter read.
Apple and Proview are awaiting the outcome of Cupertino’s appeal to a Guangdong high court to overturn an earlier ruling that declared the monitor firm the rightful owner of the IPAD trademark.
Proview’s latest salvo could be seen as yet another effort to force Apple into a big money settlement, something the near-bankrupt company could certainly do with.
Perhaps because of the case, there was no mention of a Chinese sales date for the new iPad during the launch razzmatazz on Wednesday, although the shiny slab will go on sale in Hong Kong at the same time as the US and UK on 16 March and in equally nearby Macau the following week.
This raises the rather ugly prospect of another mass influx of Chinese scalpers into the Special Administrative Regions (SARs), with a mission to buy up as many iPads as they can to sell on at a profit back over the border.
Apple’s Hong Kong store has already taken steps against this, and presumably to control stock levels, by limiting the number of devices sold to two per person.
The new fondleslab sports an improved display and camera, 4G support and a new processor.
Apple had the following to say on the matter:
Whilst we have not announced a date yet for China, this is our fastest global roll out ever for iPad and we're working hard to get it into as many customers hands as possible.
The irony, of course, is that China is where Foxconn's ranked masses produce the fondleslab in the first place before it is shipped off to fanbois around the world.
Mark Natkin, managing director of China-based consultancy Marbridge Consulting told The Reg that Apple launched the iPad and iPad 2 in China several months after the US.
"Apple also recently saw things get out of control at the Beijing launch of its iPhone 4S smartphone," he added.
"Whether or not these are among Apple's key considerations in the decision to hold off on a mainland China release of the iPad 3, launching first in Hong Kong and leaving it to the market to move product inland to meet mainland China demand is probably a very prudent approach at this time." ®