Cellular versions of the iPad Mini could start to ship next week

Ever since the iPad Mini was announced, there was a question mark over when the model with 3G/4G LTE connectivity would appear. Apple’s press release stated the cellular models would ship “a couple of weeks” after the Wi-Fi only Mini, putting the date somewhere around the middle of November.

It looks like Apple will keep its promise too, as reports are coming in that customers who pre-ordered the cellular Mini tablet have started to receive notices that it’ll ship “in the next five business days.” That could be on or slightly before November 16, two weeks after the iPad Mini went on sale.

This won’t be the same for everyone, of course, and Apple has already flip-flopped on iPad Mini LTE release dates once, with some buyers finding a November 21 and November 23 shipping date added to their account soon after launch, but this was quickly replaced with “mid-November” instead. Subsequently, these dates have been re-applied to some accounts.

So, if you’ve ordered an iPad Mini LTE, there’s a chance it will arrive sometime between November 16 and November 23, depending on when you placed your order, and your chosen delivery method.

Apple has been experiencing some delays with getting the iPad Mini into its customer’s hands, with the Wi-Fi-only tablet selling out as an online pre-order, and then again when it hit retail stores last weekend. Despite this, Apple shifted three million iPad Mini and fourth generation iPad tablets over those three days.

While still a considerable amount of iPad tablets sold, this was a little lower than some analysts hoped for, and this could have been due to the cellular model not being available on launch day. An analyst for Merrill Lynch called the 4G LTE iPad Mini “more important than people think,” reminding us that the cellular versions of the full-size iPad make up 45-percent of sales.

If you’ve pre-ordered an iPad Mini, has its delivery date been updated yet?