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First shipments of Apple's 9.7" iPad Pro arrive, are promptly unboxed

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As scheduled, customers who purchased Apple's 9.7-inch iPad Pro last week began to receive shipments on Thursday local time, with pictures of the new tablet now flooding social media outlets.

As seen in photos provided to AppleInsider by reader Ron, who lives in Australia, Apple's latest iPad model is arriving on doorsteps of eager fans in parts of the world where it's already Thursday. Apple quoted preorder shipments for March 31, the same day iPad Pro 9.7-inch is expected to land in retail stores.

Apple announced the 9.7-inch iPad Pro alongside the new 4-inch iPhone SE at a special event earlier this month. Like its 12.9-inch namesake, the "Pro" 9.7-inch slate is powered by an advanced A9X SoC and comes with a built-in magnetic Smart Connector, four-speaker array and specialized display components for Apple Pencil support.

Exclusive to the 9.7-inch model is a True Tone display that adjusts screen temperature and brightness depending on a user's surroundings. The display also boasts a wider color gamut than the 12.9-inch Pro, reaching saturation and accuracy levels seen on the iMac with 5K Retina display. In addition, Apple included a 12-megapixel iSight camera with True Tone flash capable of shooting 4K video. Apple also redesigned its Smart Keyboard to fit the new Pro's smaller form factor.

The 9.7-inch iPad Pro starts at $599 for a 32-gigabyte model with Wi-Fi connectivity, $749 for a 128GB version and $899 for a new 256GB tier. Cellular versions are priced at $729, $879 and $1,029 for 32GB, 128GB and 256GB of storage, respectively. A new rose gold chassis joins the usual space grey, gold and silver color options.

After an initial launch in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, the U.K., the U.S. Virgin Islands and the U.S., Apple expanded availability to 46 additional regions on Tuesday, with those shipments scheduled to arrive on April 4.

For those still on the fence, AppleInsider was able to spend some hands on time with the device last week. A comprehensive review will follow.