The dust has barely settled from Apple's announcement of the new iPad on Wednesday, and already those who pre-ordered the new tablet are receiving notifications - and even UPS tracking numbers - indicating that their iPad has left Apple's warehouses and is on its way to them.
The new iPad has been available for pre-order since shortly after Apple's media event ended on Wednesday afternoon, and is scheduled to arrive in stores next Friday, March 16th. Those who pre-ordered were promised that they would receive it on the same day. Now it looks like some of the tablets are already making their way to their future owners. According to separate reports from AppleInsider and Engadget, some people are already starting to get shipment notifications from Apple saying that the tablets have shipped and promising a delivery date of March 16th. According to the UPS tracking numbers that some customers are getting, the tablets are apparently still in China at the moment. AppleInsider posted the following picture from a customer who had received his shipment notice:
This year's iPad launch is the biggest single-day launch in Apple's history, as the new iPad will be available in twelve countries, including the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Hong Kong, Singapore, France, and Germany.
The new iPad is available for pre-order from Apple's online store now. Most models are still currently showing a delivery date of March 16th, however the 64GB 4G model through AT&T (in both black and white) is showing a delay. That model ships by March 19th.
Of course, the fact that the new iPad is already shipping doesn't mean you should expect to get it early. Shipping companies have historically been extremely careful with this, and though your new iPad may be sitting in your nearest UPS hub by the middle of next week, they'll hold onto it until Friday.
Did you pre-order a new iPad? Have you gotten a shipping address yet? Let us know in the comments.