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First LTE-equipped 4th-gen iPads ship, to be delivered this week

Just hours after Apple sent out word to customers saying their LTE-capable iPad minis were on the way, consumers who purchased the company's cellular network connected fourth-generation iPad were also notified that the devices have shipped and are currently in transit for an expected Friday delivery.

AppleInsider reader Derek was sent an email from Apple saying that his iPad with Wi-Fi + Cellular had shipped from a factory in Chengdu, China and is scheduled to arrive by this Friday.

iPad 4 Shipment

It appears that Apple is rolling out the cellular enabled 9.7-inch tablet on the same timeline as its smaller brother, the iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular, which also began shipping earlier on Tuesday. Interestingly, both units are bound for Verizon's U.S. CDMA network.

It is unclear how many units are going out, as Derek placed his order five minutes after pre-orders went live on Oct. 26.

The Wi-Fi only version of the fourth-generation iPad hit store shelves alongside the iPad mini in early November. Over the first weekend of sales, more than 3 million copies of the Wi-Fi only iPad models were sold.

While not as hot a seller as the iPad mini, the new full-size iPad sold out of launch day stock in four days. Demand for the tablet may have been affected by the surprisingly short refresh cycle, which saw the old iteration replaced in a little over six months. Instead of a complete redesign, Apple made relatively minor changes by replacing the legacy 30-pin adapter with the new Lightning connector and upgrading the SoC to an A6X processor that doubles the performance of the outgoing model.