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Members of the public enter a new Apple store during the official opening in Beijing's Wangfujing shopping district in this October 20, 2012, file photo. REUTERS/David Gray/Files
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CUPERTINO -- Apple (AAPL) on Friday said its latest iPad models will go on sale in China on Dec. 7, followed by the iPhone 5 a week later.

China is one of Apple's largest and fastest-growing markets. Analyst Brian White at Topeka Capital Markets said iPhone 5 is launching roughly when he expected it, but he hadn't expected the iPad mini and the fourth-generation, full-size iPad to go on sale in China this year.

"Our conversations during our meetings and casual consumer interactions during our China trips tell us that the iPad Mini will take off like wildfire in China," White wrote in a research report Friday morning. "The smaller form factor and lower price point, we believe Apple will be able to sell the iPad mini in meaningful volumes."

White said uptake of the iPhone 4S was relatively slow in China, because the signature new feature, voice-recognition-powered virtual assistant Siri, did not understand Mandarin Chinese. With this year's software update, Siri now does understand the language, which should encourage upgrades, he said.