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Apple has begun shipments for the LTE-equipped version of its iPad Mini tablet.
Multiple users have reported receiving confirmation emails from Apple notifying them that pre-ordered tablets will be arriving next week. Retail availability is likely to coincide with the delivery of the pre-ordered units.
The release of the LTE models marks an expansion of the iPad Mini line which debuted earlier this month. The Wi-Fi version of the tablet has proven a big seller for Apple, with millions believed to have been sold during its first days on the market.
The LTE model joins the Wi-Fi model and a pair of full-sized tablets in filling out Apple's tablet hardware line. The iPad brand has thus far dominated the tablet market, but the platform faces stiff competition from a growing crop of Android devices in both the 10in and 7in markets.
A V3 review of the Wi-Fi model found that while the iPad Mini features solid design and battery life, the device is hindered by performance and screen quality issues.
Despite the strong hardware sales, Apple has had a turbulent Fall autumn. The company undertook a management shake up which saw the dismissal of iOS software boss Scott Forstall. It was also scolded by a UK court over its handling of an apology it was ordered to make after it lost a legal battle with Samsung.