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Apple's Enormous iPad Shipments Cause Air Freight Rates to Skyrocket

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As Apple (AAPL) gears up for tomorrow's debut of the iPad 3 -- or iPad HD, as CNET believes it will be called -- the company has reportedly booked massive amounts of air freight space over the next few weeks. Similar to how it's muscled other companies away from component suppliers in the past, Apple has made it very difficult for other companies to ship anything out of China without paying a higher shipping rate.

According to AppleInsider, DHL has already raised the price of air cargo from China en route to US. By claiming a huge amount of air freight capacity at "premium rates," Apple has single-handedly increased shipping rates by as much as 20%, sources from the shipping industry have confirmed.

AppleInsider also notes that DHL is likely just one of the couriers Apple has hired to ship its product, considering the millions of units the company plans to have available for launch -- and possibly new Apple TVs if recent rumors are to be believed. Cupertino used UPS (UPS) to usher the iPad 2 into the States.

With one day left before the unveiling, many sources seem to agree that the iPad HD will have a Retina Display boasting 720p and 1080i. It's very likely that it will support 4G networking, which, in turn, confirms that the upcoming iPhone will also be a 4G device. These two major changes, along with several other presumed improvements, will probably help stem the tablet market share leak that Apple has been suffering since the introduction of the Kindle Fire (AMZN), the PlayBook (RIMM) price cuts, and the Android (GOOG) tablet collective -- though no single Android tablet has breached the 5% mark. And despite the growing excitement for a Windows 8 (MSFT) tablet, Apple will most likely command a majority share in the tablet industry for some time.

At any rate, like the rest of you, Minyanville will be watching with bated breath as to what Apple will be unveiling tomorrow morning in San Francisco.

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