Apple Begins Shipping iPads, Reports Say

Michelle Maisto covers mobile devices, Android and Apple for eWEEK and is also a food writer.

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Users who have pre-ordered an Apple iPad, have reportedly been notified that their devices have begun shipping

Apple has reportedly begun shipping its iPad device, to those users who pre-ordered it following Apple’s announcement in early March that it would begin accepting orders on 12 March.

“Happiness on a Monday: Received my iPad shipping confirmation!” wrote Twitter user SecBarbie, just one of a number of Twitter users who began spreading the news on the morning of 29 March.

Padpundit seconded, “Yay just got a shipping notice from Apple – I’m getting a package from Shenzhen, CN – the iPad is on it’s [sic] way!” User chriskac followed: “w00t! Shipping notice for my iPad.”

Consumers and analysts have questioned the effect the device’s price will have on sales, and a 26 March report from the NPD Group reported that only 9 percent of the consumers it surveyed said they were “extremely or very likely” to purchase an iPad over the next six months. Nonetheless, as news spread of the en route devices, which Apple has said will go on sale Saturday, 3 April, it appears Apple may already be experiencing a shortage of iPads.

On the Apple US website, a button invites customers to preorder an iPad, but warns that the Wi-Fi-only 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models won’t ship until 12 April, and all three WiFi/3G models won’t ship until “late April” – though shipping is free.

Apple fans who do receive an iPad on Saturday will no doubt hurry to the Apple iPad App Store, which Mac Stories is offering a look at in an on-screen video. There are travel, entertainment, productivity, news and lifestyle apps, along with, of course, plenty of games.

Images of Apple’s iBookstore have also been leaked, revealing ebook pricing for New York Times bestsellers ranging from $9.99 (£6.73) to $12.99 (£8.75).

Following nearly a year of speculation, Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the iPad at an Apple event in San Francisco 27 January, telling the crowd, “It’s the best web experience you’ve ever had.”

Come 3 April, it seems a number of Apple fans may finally get the chance to decide for themselves.