Third-gen iPad pre-orders now shipping from China

Despite the official launch being a full week away, the first third-generation iPad pre-orders have started to ship from Apple’s assembly partner Foxconn. 9to5Mac’s Seth Weintraub reports that one of his pre-orders—a 16GB Wi-Fi unit with engraving—has shipped from Chengdu in Western China. As noted in the report, Chengdu was the site of an explosion at an iPad 2 production line run by Foxconn. The shipment notification, as well as the tracking information, for the package indicates that it will be delivered on March 16, suggesting that unlike some past Apple launches, pre-order customers won’t be receiving their units prior to the official launch.

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