Apple is one of the few companies that treats celebrities, sports stars, and authors like normal human beings. Fast Company spoke with a few notable humans who have asked Apple for a new toy before its formal release - and came away with a few funny stories.
NBA star Shaquille O'Neal said he frequently called Steve Jobs to ask for an iPhone 4 before it was released to the public. Jobs responded "Shaq, I can't, I can't, I can't." Author William Gibson, on the other hand, never reached out to Apple but wondered if the company would reach out to him some day. He told Fast Company, "I used to imagine that they might call me, one day, but I don't think they work that way, and the story about Shaq seems to bear that out! I've never owned a computer that wasn't Apple. I started with a IIc. I am never very up to date, though, on tech products, though many people expect me to be." So rest assured, the only people getting a "new iPad" sooner than you are those in a different time zone.
That's not entirely true. I know for a fact that Jobs gave Obama an iPad 2 before its release and I imagine there are some other lucky ones. Steve probably knew Shaw would show it to everyone he knows and give away the surprise.