Apple has sold millions of iDevices to people around the globe, and they weren't going to let China miss out on the fun. This week, Apple opened up their first Chinese online Apple Store, and the results have been expectedly positive. According to iPhoneFaq, within 10 hours of the digital grand opening, the online storefront had sold out its entire iPhone 4 stock.
Apple is no stranger to Chinese retail. They have opened four brick and mortar (and lots of glass) stores in China, and over 1000 people lined up two days before the iPhone 4 launch to try and get one of the popular smartphones. Since then, a grey market for the devices has flourished, and China Unicom will sell one to you if you tie yourself to that carrier. In a technology culture where iDevice knockoffs are almost as popular as the real deal, Apple has no problem selling quality product. Apple hopes that this online store will help ease the financial burden that the grey market has on their iPhone sales numbers, and take advantage of the increasingly tech-hungry Chinese consumers clamoring for a good smartphone.
The iPad had shipping delays at release, but the Chinese storefront will be shipping iPads immediately, as the global demand constraints have eased over time.