China might have shunned last year’s iPhones, but it seems to be far more receptive to the new iPads.

Apple just released updated versions of the iPad mini and iPad Air for the first time in years. Both come with the same new A12 Bionic processors found in the iPhone XS -- yet they cost far less, starting at US$399 for the iPad mini and US$499 for the iPad Air. Some Chinese consumers think it’s a good deal.

“So cheap,” said one Weibo comment that’s been liked over 300 times.

Another person wrote, “3,000 yuan for A12? Give me one now.”

Tim Cook holding the iPad mini. (Picture: Apple)

Apple has been suffering from a slump in iPhone sales in China, leading retailers to slash prices on new models. But while the Californian giant saw a dip in Chinese iPhone shipments by almost 12% last year, it’s a different story for the iPad.

Globally, Apple still dominates in tablets. And that’s also true in China. Even though it shipped fewer phones than domestic giants like Huawei, Apple holds more than a third of China’s tablet market. It’s the number one tablet seller in the country, trumping both Huawei and Lenovo.

Despite the encouraging signs though, Apple might be facing more headwinds than the others. While it’s still considered a top brand for consumers, it has a looser grip on enterprises. Yet research firm IDC predicts most tablet purchases in China this year will come from businesses and government departments. Regular consumers, on the other hand, are expected to buy fewer tablets. Analysts say it’s because some might prefer to just get a bigger smartphone instead.

On Weibo, one user echoed the sentiment: “3,000 yuan for A12, that’s cheap. But the iPad’s camera and screen aren’t as good [as the iPhone XS]. So, no thanks.”

Still, some others say they would rather play games on the new iPad than on a phone.

One top comment on Weibo said: “The iPad mini is going to trash every single gaming smartphone.”

Another person chimed in: “My iPad mini 4 has been completely reduced to a mobile gaming machine. There are no games on my smartphone.”

Not everyone might buy an iPad solely for gaming. But it looks like there’s at least one skilled gamer who would agree that the iPad is perfect for Fortnite. Check out this video posted by esports pro FaZe Apex showing just how good a kid with an iPad can be.