According to rumors last week, Apple had already started shipping iPad 3 units to the U.S. in preparation for the iPad 3 launch.

MacRumors and AppleInsider both are now reporting shipping representatives of other companies are finding it extremely difficult to ship their products from China as Apple has apparently paid a premium for the available capacity as it prepares for the iPad 3 launch.

[..] we’re now hearing from shipping representatives at other companies who are having a difficult time even getting their products shipped over to the United States from China as Apple’s preparations for the iPad 3 launch have significantly squeezed the air freight industry [..]

One shipping representative told MacRumors last week that his freight broker in China has been scrambling to find space for his company’s shipments, with shipping rates rising 20% in one week as Apple has snapped up available capacity at premium rates. Another shipping manager told us a similar story today, with his company being unable to find space with its usual carrier due to Apple’s demand and having to scramble to find alternatives for moving products overseas. [..]

This is an interesting development as it looks like Apple is planning to launch iPad 3 immediately after tomorrow’s iPad 3 media event. Last year, Apple unveiled iPad 2 on March 2nd, followed by the launch in the U.S. the following week on March 11th and the international launch in UK, Germany and 23 more countries on March 25th. So based on that it was speculated that iPad 3 will be available for pre-order from March 9th, followed by the launch on March 16th.

However, since Apple has already started shipping iPad 3 units and storing them in warehouses with very high security, it is quite possible that iPad 3 will be available as early as tomorrow or on March 9th. Apple usually sees a drop in sales of the older generation iOS device when the launch of the next generation iPad is imminent. So it is in Apple’s interest to keep this period as short as possible.

We had felt that Apple would give app developers couple of weeks to get their apps ready foriPad 3’s rumored Retina Display, but with Apple rushing iPad 3 units to the US and also other countries it doesn’t look like it.

We’re super excited. We can’t wait to get our hands on the new iPad. What about you? Will you be buying or upgrading  to iPad 3?

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