updated 09:40 am EDT, Thu May 27, 2010
Shows Apple not placing block on deliveries
iPads are already being delivered to homes in Europe, incoming anecdotes appear to confirm. One UK reader tells MacNN that they had a 64GB iPad 3G delivered at approximately 8AM Thursday morning. Scattered accounts have in fact pointed to iPads arriving since earlier this week, including in Italy, where at least one person says they had a 32GB iPad 3G delivered, in this case via UPS. The earliest reports of iPads showing up in Europe date back to the 20th, though the unit may have been store stock or a gift.
The early shipping indicates that Apple is no longer concerned with synchronizing mail delivery of iPads with retail availability. For the launch of the US Wi-Fi iPad on April 3rd, Apple is believed to have artificially held up online orders by withholding necessary customs documents. This amplified the public impact of the launch, while also preventing early reviews from people other than Apple's preferred journalists.