AppleInsider is reporting that initial volume shipments of iPhone began arriving at drop terminals across the US, in preparation for distribution on Friday. This means iPhone launch plans are on track with no delays in sight.

People familiar with the matter say the intrinsically valuable freight was carried inbound by a certain Hong Kong-based air courier, which services Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. The early arrival is to assure the cargo can clear customs with enough time to handle unexpected delays, those people said. Awaiting the freight at each location on Sunday were armed personnel, who were reportedly hired by Apple through its courier's ground handling agent and then cleared by the Transportation Security Administration. Armed guards are extremely unusual for freight coming out of the Asian sector, those familiar with the matter explained, and are typically reserved for shipments containing riches such as gold and diamonds.