Getting an accessory before the actual device it’s meant to accessorize is either good preparation or pure torture.

Regardless of how badly those who pre-ordered the iPad mini yesterday are aching for it, Apple has still shipped the $39 Smart Cover first (the dark gray one, anyway) and estimates that UPS will deliver it on November 1, the day before the tablet’s release.

While this does nothing to speed up the mini’s arrival, at least you can pre-sign for delivery so you don’t end up with the opposite situation the next day: iPad and no Smart Cover.