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Sales of iPad mini and 4th-gen iPad begin in New Zealand [u]

Apple's iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad are now available in New Zealand, the first country to start sales of the long-awaited 7.9-inch tablet that was unveiled at the end of October.

Update: Reports are coming in of iPad mini sales going live in Australia. Apple will continue rolling out the tablet around the world through brick-and-mortar Apple Stores and resellers, with each location starting sales at 8 a.m. local time.

New Zealand on Friday became the first country to start sales of Apple's hotly-anticipated iPad mini, which will rollout to launch countries worldwide on Nov. 2 at 8 a.m. local time.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, customers looking to buy the tablet from the island nation's resellers got a 20-hour jump on consumers in Apple's home town of San Francisco. Because Apple does not yet operate an official Apple Store in the country, it does not know which resellers have remaining stock.

“I don’t know who will have what (products) where in New Zealand but the retailers will certainly be able to open their doors so people can come in and touch and play straight away,” Apple spokeswoman Fiona Martin said.

Apple announced the 7.9-inch iPad mini at a special event on Oct. 23, with preorders for the mid-size tablet going live days later. Incredible demand saw launch day deliveries of all white and silver models sell out within hours, and the black and slate version followed suit two days later.

Most recently, a teardown of the device revealed a pair of stereo speakers, the first for an iDevice, as well as a Samsung-sourced LCD panel.

According to one analyst, Apple is expected to sell up to 1.5 million iPad minis over launch weekend, about half the number of iPad 3 units sold in March.