iPad Mini Books Flight to China, Packs Cellular Connectivity

It's believed that Apple CEO Tim Cook has made at least two trips to China since taking over as head of the company. And why not, considering that China is Apple's second-largest market. Furthermore, Cook said he "strongly" believes China will become Apple's No. 1 customer, so there's good reason why he's exerting so much effort building and maintaining a relationship with Chinese officials. Continuing with that effort, Cook said Apple is planning to launch the iPad mini with cellular connectivity in China by the end of the month.

You can already order an iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular model in the U.S., which offers high-speed Internet access on AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon. It's $459 for the 16GB model, $559 for the 32GB model, and $659 for the 64GB model, which breaks down to a $130 pricing premium over the Wi-Fi variants.

iPad mini

Things are a little different in China, however. While the iPad mini can connect to 4G networks, they're not quite as fleshed out in China as they are in the U.S. 3G is much more widely available over there, so there's still incentive for customers in China to purchase an iPad mini with cellular connectivity, provided they're interested in the feature in the first place.

Cook also stated that he plans to have 25 Apple Store up and running in China. Currently there are just eight stores.