Images posted on Chinese forums suggest that iPad 3 shipments are already being loaded onto cargo flights headed for the U.S.
Keeping in mind the rumored March first week timeline of an iPad 3 event, the timing of the shipments seems about right.
The document, an image of which was posted on the WeiPhone forums, indicate that shipments from Foxconn to U.S. would begin from 26th February, with Apple (not surprisingly) demanding higher than usual security for the shipments.
A 9 to 5 Mac reader’s translation of the document reads:
Our company started undertake a load of top-secured cargo. The owner has extreme requirements for the security. In order to prevent the cargo from being dragged on the airport ramp for too long, as well as shortening the time the cargo stay on the airport ramp, we hereby require XXXX to schedule all the XXX cargo planes from Feb. 26 to Mar. 9. to XXX slot.
The first load of shipments would land in the U.S. on the 9th of March, right in time for the launch.
9 to 5 Mac claims that unlike last year when the iPad 2 went directly on sale without pre-orders, this year Apple would take pre-orders. It also adds that the company could be launching two major products in the month of March. One of course being the iPad 3, and the other possibly a newer version of the Apple TV. The device’s supplies have been restricted in the past few months, indicating a product refresh.
If all this information weren’t enough, the site also says that, leaving the 16GB iPad 2 WiFi model, the entire iPad 2 line would be discontinued.
The iPad 3 is rumored to have a Retina display, a faster processor, improved cameras, a better battery and a 4G LTE network.