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Apple’s iPad Air and iPad Mini launch seems to be going very well indeed.

The new Air is available in 42 countries on launch day, the most ever, and initial reports on sales are very positive. Sales in Hong Kong are almost at a standstill after local Apple stores sold out, and shipping times across China are jumping up to between five to 10 days — a good sign for Apple’s efforts to boost sales in that country, after Apple sales were down $800 million year-over-year, and $3.6 billion quarter-over-quarter, in its 2013 Q3 results

Similar things are happening in New York, according to Brian White of Cantor Fitzgerald.

“One of the stores has already sold out of all 16GB and all 128GB iPad Air models, while another store indicated that stock for all Wi-Fi + Cellular models with AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile are getting very low,” White said in a research note this morning. “Another store indicated that all iPad Air models with Sprint are sold out, and certain models with Verizon are sold out already.”

The iPad Air, which has the same 9.7-inch display as the original iPad, weighs just 1 pound and has a 43 percent bezel. Apple sent me one this morning, which I’m playing with today before writing a review. It holds Apple’s new 64- bit A7 chip, and has almost double the preceding model’s speed in opening large files, images, and applications.

The entry-level iPad Air is priced at $499, but Apple is retaining the iPad 2 for a hundred dollars less, $399.

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