iPad mini with 4G ships early, world rejoices

In a classic "under promise, over deliver" move, Apple has begun shipping cellular-capable iPad minis ahead of the originally estimated November 21 date.
Written by Jason D. O'Grady, Contributor

I have to admit to being a little suspicious. When Apple announced that its iPad mini with WiFi would ship about two weeks ahead of the LTE-capable model I immediately put on my conspiracy hat. "Ah, they're shipping the Wi-Fi models first so that everyone will buy it, pass it down the line, and purchase the LTE model a few weeks later." While admittedly cynical, it's not entirely out of the realm of possibility either. 


Regardless of what you think about the motives behind Apple's product timing, it gave customers that ordered an LTE-capable iPad mini a nice little surprise this morning. I woke up to a text message from Apple that my LTE iPad mini would "deliver Nov 16, 2012." Sure enough, Apple's Order Status page notes that my unit left Shenzhen, China on Novemeber 13. 

Then Jason did a happy dance. 


Sure enough, a trip to the FedEx tracking page reveals that the coveted LTE iPad mini will indeed arrive on November 16, 2012 - three business days ahead of the November 21 that Apple's been promising. (MacRumors reports that some people have been quoted Thursday, November 15 for delivery).

So, was it a logistical efficiency that Apple didn't anticipate? Maybe the day before Thanksgiving is too hectic to deliver millions of iPads? Who knows, but color me one happy dude. I know what I'll be doing next week. 

The bigger question is about the iPad mini as a product. For me, the mini the iPad I've always wanted (except with a Retina Display, natch). Being a writer, I'm never far from one of my MacBooks -- I need a device with a keyboard, trackpad and multiple windows open at that same time thankyouverymuch. For me, the iPad is strictly a consumption device, it's my couch/bed, read-when-I-have-15-minutes machine. In my use-case a 10-inch tablet suddenly feels too bulky

But that's me.

What's your iPad use case? Do you use it as a computer replacement or as an ancillary/weekend/vacation machine? Where does it fit into your daily workflow?

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