Some Apple Watch pre-orders with May and June ship dates now ‘Preparing for Shipment’

Potentially good news today for folks looking at lengthy lead times on their Apple Watch pre-orders. Some customers with 4-6 week and June shipping estimates are reporting that Apple has charged them for their Watch purchases, and their order statuses have changed from ‘Processing Items’ to ‘Preparing for Shipment.’

Given how crazy the Apple Watch launch has been thus far, it’s possible that this doesn’t mean anything—perhaps it’s a system glitch or Apple’s trying out a new processing strategy. But typically, these actions indicate that Apple is about to ship an order, and that has raised hopes that Watches will arrive earlier than expected.

Apple Watch deliveries may arrive sooner than expected

Good news today for those hoping that their Apple Watches will arrive before their estimated ship dates. MacRumors reports that a reader, who emailed Tim Cook over the weekend regarding the lengthy lead times for the wearable, received a response from the executive team saying that preorders will most likely ship sooner than expected.

“[Apple] said that June preorders will most likely ship sooner than June,” said reader Andrew Turko, after speaking with someone on Apple’s executive relations team. “Of course he didn’t make any promises, but that’s the reason Apple is announcing such an extended ship date after all – to avoid disappointment through false guarantees.”

Shipping times improve for select iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models

With the all-important Black Friday shopping weekend just around the corner, Apple continues to improve supply of the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Shipping estimates for select models of the handsets have recently ameliorated for Apple’s US online store and in other countries.

Both 64GB and 128GB iPhone 6 models, as well as the 16GB iPhone 6 Plus, are now showing ship dates 7 to 10 days out for all colors across all major US carriers. And the 16GB iPhone 6 is now shipping in 5 to 7 days, with Personal Pickup available at a number of Apple Stores.

Apple said to be dominating shipping capacity out of China ahead of iPhone 6 event

TechCrunch is out with a late report this evening regarding Apple’s supply chain movements ahead of next week’s iPhone event. The outlet claims that it has once again taken over a majority of the shipping space out of China, likely to help move its new handsets.

In fact, Apple’s shipping volume is apparently so high right now, that it’s begun displacing shipments from other manufacturers. TC’s Matthew Panzarino says that shippers, such as FedEx and UPS, are so booked up, it’s causing delays for other major device makers.

Apple offering free shipping on all online orders

Apple has launched a new promotion on its web store, which gives customers free shipping on all online orders through the end of the month. It doesn’t give a specific reason for the event, but we’re coming up on both Memorial and Father’s Day.

While Apple has long-offered free shipping on orders over $50, this deal would allow you to purchase a case, Lightning cable, or any other low-cost accessory without having to spend the extra $4-$6 (depending on location) for standard shipping…

Apple ships 1.4 million iPhone 5s units to China Mobile ahead of Friday’s launch

After several years of negotiations, and following months of rumors, Apple announced in December that it had finally inked a deal with China Mobile. The carrier will officially start offering the company’s smartphone on January 17.

And it looks like they’re expecting a big turnout. According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, Apple supplier Foxconn has shipped roughly 1.4 million iPhone 5s units to China Mobile ahead of Friday’s historic launch…

Retina iPad mini shipping times improve to 1-3 days for many countries

Good news for folks trying to snag an iPad mini with Retina display in time for the holidays. Shipping times for the popular tablet have improved in Apple’s web store to 1-3 days for the US, Canada and several other countries.

This applies to all configurations of the new mini, including both Space Gray and Silver colorways and Wi-Fi + Cellular models. And it means that, if you order soon, you can still get one shipped out for free before Christmas…

iPhone 5s shipping times improve to 1-3 days for many countries

Good news for folks trying to snag an iPhone 5s in time for the holidays. Shipping times for the popular handset have improved in Apple’s web store yet again, and now read 1-3 days in the US, Canada and several other countries.

This applies to all models of the smartphone, meaning all carriers, colors and capacities. So essentially, if you ordered a gold iPhone 5s—which at one point was backordered for more than a month—you’d get it in a couple of days…

Apple publicizes holiday ordering deadlines

If you’re going to buy an Apple product this holiday season, you’ll be wise to plan your purchase in advance unless you can cope with broken hearts on post-Christmas deliveries. But holiday shoppers needn’t worry too much as Apple is feeling your pain.

This morning, the company has refreshed its U.S. Online Store with a handy guide specifying the important ordering deadlines for Macs, iPads, iPhones, iPods and accessories for delivery by December 24, 2013.

Deadlines vary from one product to another. For example, Apple’s Next Day Shipping is available for many, but not all iPads. Specifically, if you’re buying an iPad mini with Retina display, your best bet is to place an order with Apple by midnight on December 5 for delivery by December 24.

The full breakdown follows right below…

iPad Air shipping times begin to slip

It’s been just 24 hours since the iPad Air launched, and already supplies are starting to weaken. Space gray seems to be the most popular color, as shipping estimates for 16GB and 128GB models have slipped to 5-10 days in several countries.

Even here in the US, shipping times have begun to slip. The T-Mobile variant of the space gray 128GB Air is showing that it ships in 5-10 days, and ship dates for nearly all other models of the tablet have gone from November 4 to November 6…

iPhone 5s shipping times fall to October

Shortly after the iPhone 5s became available for online order here in the US Friday morning, initial inventory for the gold colorway sold out. Within an hour of launch, shipping times for handset configurations including the new color option began slipping to October.

And the rest of the models caught up with it this weekend. Less than 72 hours after launch, it appears that Apple has sold out of all of its initial iPhone 5s supplies, with shipping estimates for all configurations in the US slipping from 7–10 days to the vague date of ‘October.’

iPhone 5s sales go live in Australia with 7-10 day shipping estimates

Folks hoping to score an iPhone 5s anytime in the near future should probably opt to stand in line at their local retailer. The handset just became available for purchase in Apple’s web store in Australia and other countries, and it’s already showing 7-10 day shipping times.

The news comes after several months of reports claiming that the iPhone 5s would be in short supply at launch time, but it’s starting to look like it could be this way for a while. Most models from Hong Kong and Singapore stores, for example, aren’t shipping until October…