NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The big Apple ( AAPL - Get Report) news Tuesday includes the iPad's availability in China and a new patent that might signal more added features for Passbook.

Apple announced Tuesday that the new iPad will go on sale Friday, July 20. Customers will be available to buy the new iPad online through the Apple Store, select Apple authorized resellers and by reserving it through Apple's retail stores in China.

The costs will be the same for the new iPad in China as they are in the United States. The 16 GB Wi-Fi model will cost $499, the 32 GB model will cost $599 and the 32 GB model will cost $699. The iPad Wi-Fi + cellular models will cost $629 for the 16GB model, $729 for the 32GB model and $829 for the 64GB model.

Apple has been granted a series of patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that could expand the functionality of Passbook, and could move Apple towards the digital wallet.

Passbook is a new feature in Apple's iOS 6, its new mobile operating system, and the patent covers iTravel, allowing customers to book boarding pass and utilize express check-in" features. One of the patents also covers near field communication, which could eventually lead to Apple getting into mobile payments.

Shares of Apple edged higher in early Tuesday trading, up 0.42% to $616.48.

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-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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