Although Apple has been selling its fourth-generation iPad since Nov. 2, many customers are still waiting to buy the specialized models that support the high-speed Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network to become available. Pre-orders for the device sold out quickly, and shipping estimates for the device were pushed back several weeks. The stores haven't stocked them yet, and the first online orders haven't been delivered yet. The big wait for all interested parties will reportedly end tomorrow.
According to 9 to 5 Mac, the first deliveries for online orders are expected to arrive tomorrow, and for anyone else interested in owning an LTE-friendly iPad, Apple will reportedly start selling them through their retail stores tomorrow as well.
The Apple news site said on Thursday that many Apple Stores around the country have already received the devices, but have been instructed to "wait until word from corporate" to begin selling the iPad 4 with LTE. We expect "word" to arrive tomorrow so customers that pre-ordered online don't feel left out, or worse, complain about it.
Once it goes on sale, the iPad 4 with LTE will be the fastest tablet Apple sells.
While similar to the third-generation iPad with Retina Display released in March, the iPad 4 is faster than its predecessor in every single way.
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With the all-new custom-built A6X chip, the iPad 4 has double the chip speed and graphics performance of the iPad 3's A5X chip, which was pretty impressive in its own right with a quad-core graphics processor. The A6X chip packs a lot of punch, which helps the iPad power its enhanced features in a quick and seamless way, including picture stabilization and face detection for both photo and video recording. The A6X, with all its power, is efficient enough to give owners 10 hours of solid "all-day" battery life.
If double the chip speed or graphics performance wasn't enough, the iPad 4 is makes significantly faster and stronger connections to Wi-Fi and cellular networks. Phil Schiller, Apple's senior VP of marketing, said iPad 4 owners will experience "ultrafast" Wi-Fi that doubles the connection speed of the older model, the iPad 3 -- and furthermore, for LTE customers, Apple has expanded the number of LTE frequencies supported by the iPad to include more carriers in Europe, Australia, and even here in the US, such as Sprint-Nextel.
iPad fans will only notice a few noticeable differences in the outer appearance of the iPad 4 versus previous iPads, including the smaller 8-pin Lightning connector on the bottom of the tablet.
Apple starts selling the new iPad 4 at $499 for Wi-Fi only and $629 for LTE-capable models. Check out this article if you want to see what critics had to say about the iPad 4 (spoiler: it's mostly positive).