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Apple's Reliance on China Just Increased (Update 1)

Updated from 11:13 a.m. EST to provide comments from hedge fund analyst in the third paragraph.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL - Get Report) has demonstrated that it doesn't need help selling iPads, but it still received some very beneficial news in that regard on Monday.

The company finally settled its long-running dispute with Proview Technology over the iPad name in China. As part of the agreement, Apple has agreed to pay $60 million to Proview.

China is an increasingly important market to Apple, with iPhone sales more than doubling in the country during Apple's most recent quarter. "There's clearly tons of potential here," said one hedge fund analyst who declined to be named. "It [iPad] should be a proportionate opportunity to the iPhone."

Settling the lawsuit with Proview sets Apple up to continue its enormous growth in mainland China. "They [Apple] have massive opportunity there for all their products. The Chinese love all the Apple products," said Ironfire Capital founder Eric Jackson in an email to TheStreet. Jackson is long on Apple's stock.

Apple's strong presence in China could hurt low-cost competitors such as Google's (GOOG - Get Report) Android-based tablets, and potentially the Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) Surface, as these companies seek to take away market share from Apple.
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