China gets iPad on Friday, no 3G in sight

An enormous mass of people with a growing hunger for the latest tech gadgets may soon be getting their hands on one of the most important devices this year. It’ll come at a high cost, though.

The 64 GB version of Apple’s iPad will cost the equivalent of more than $826 when it launches in the land of a billion people this Friday. Officially, the list price is 5,588 renminbi.

The cheapest version of the gadget, the 16 GB model, will cost 3,988 renminbi, or around $590. The prices represent a roughly 20% premium over what customers in the US have been paying. However, it’s a huge decrease from the $1,000+ that black markets have likely been selling it for.

Apple has been rolling out the iPad to a whole slew of countries and has continuing big international plans. But today’s announcement about the Chinese release date is the most significant because of the country’s intense concentration of people. The company just launched its flagship Apple Store in Shanghai earlier this summer.

One thing to note, though, is all the iPad models coming to China will be the Wi-Fi units. The country will not sell 3G versions at this time.