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iPad mini with LTE to begin shipping this week

It's been a bit of a topsy-turvy process for those who ordered iPad mini tablets with LTE, in terms of when the devices would actually ship. However, Apple is now sending emails to inform tablet buyers that their iPad minis are going to be heading out the door within a few days. In other words, mid-to-late this week.

The iPad mini officially launched on 2 November, but the Wi-Fi-only versions of the 7.9in tablet were the only devices interested purchasers could pick up in stores. Pre-orders for the Wi-Fi-only and LTE tablets started - and quickly sold out - in late October, and it was initially expected that the LTE version of the tablet would start shipping some two weeks after the early November launch of the Wi-Fi-only tablet, based on comments at the iPad mini's unveiling.

Then things got a bit crazy.

Apple ended up slapping a specific shipping date of 23 November on the orders of many first day iPad mini purchasers - an expected ship date that ended up being one week longer than Apple's initial estimates. Soon after, however, Apple decided to remove this date from a number of orders and replace it with a more generic approximation of "mid-November."

Since then, there have been significant concerns among pundits, press, and tablet purchasers that Apple might have difficulties in meeting demand for ordered tablets, similar to how it's faced shortages for iPhone 5 and iMac orders as of late.

That said, it does appear as if Apple's going to be able to meet its initial estimates of a two week shipping time for the iPad mini (with LTE). According to Apple Insider, purchasers will receive a tracking number from Apple as soon as their LTE-friendly tablets are on their way.

The iPad mini with LTE currently starts at £369 for the 16GB version of the tablet, extending all the way up to £529 for those looking to pick up 64GB of total storage.