New iPad - Photo Airplay

The constant checking of tracking numbers has begun for those who have ordered a new iPad from Apple.

After one of the most painful order processing events in the history of Apple, those highly anticipated new iPads have started rolling out of Chengdu, China.  Reports are coming in from all over this morning that people have been receiving their shipment notification emails of the devices starting on their journey, with some being reported as coming via UPS and a few reports of FedEx being the carrier.  Delivery dates are still showing to be Friday, March 16, so don’t think just because they’ve already shipped that you should expect them any sooner.

Meanwhile, it appears that Apple may not have had enough for all of these initial orders.  Some models are now seeing their arrival dates slip to the following week.  For those of you in the United Kingdom, the news isn’t exactly thrilling.  MacRumors is reporting that it appears all iPad shipments have been pushed back to the 20th.  An apology letter went out from Apple this morning regarding the matter:

Despite our best efforts and those of our shipping partners to get your order to you on time, we want to inform you that it will not arrive on its originally scheduled delivery date.

Your new delivery date is 20/03/2012.

Once you receive your Shipment Notification email, you can check the delivery status of your order by clicking the Track Shipment button, or by visiting the Apple Store and clicking Account.

We regret the delay and apologise for the inconvenience.

Kind regards, Apple Online Store

For those of you who have received your shipment notifications, prepare to watching tracking updates endlessly for the next week.

UPDATE: Yep, they’re definitely shipping out.

iPad 3rd Generation shipment notice