Apple IPhone 5, IPad mini start selling in China next month

Apple Inc.’s iPhone 5 and iPad Mini tablet will start selling in China next month, adding the world’s most populous country to the more than 40 markets where the devices are already available.

The iPad Mini will be available Dec. 7 in China and the iPhone 5 will be sold a week later, Cupertino, California-based Apple said today in a statement that didn’t specify which wireless carriers will offer the smartphone.

China contributed revenue of $23.8 billion in Apple’s fiscal year ended in September, accounting for 15 percent of the total and up 78 percent from the previous year, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said last month on a conference call. He projected at the time the iPhone 5 would arrive in China in December.

The company introduced the smaller version of the iPad last month to help keep customers from buying low-cost tablets from competitors such as Microsoft Corp., Amazon.com Inc. and Google Inc. It debuted the new version of the iPhone, responsible for a third of profit, in September.

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