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Apple online stores begin going down ahead of iPad Air launch [u]

updated 12:38 pm EDT, Thu October 31, 2013

Lines start forming around some retail outlets

(Updated with start of sales in some countries) Apple has begun temporarily shuttering some of its online stores ahead of tomorrow's iPad Air launch. Pages for regions like Australia, China, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and the Netherlands are now offline. The storefronts should go back online sometime after midnight local time, when online orders for the Air will open.

At retail shops, the tablet is slated to become available at 8AM local time. Reports have generally hinted at ample supplies, with bigger Apple Stores having as many as 500 to 1,000 units. What remains to be seen is which models Apple will skew towards, however; while 16 and 32GB Wi-Fi units will probably be widely available, 64 and 128GB units may be scarce. 3G/4G models could be rarer still, particularly for less popular carriers. Lines are reportedly already forming around some outlets.

Update: Australia, China, Japan, and Singapore have all begun selling the Air. Each country is listing 24-hour delivery times, with the exception of the separate Hong Kong store, which is already showing a one- to two-week delay. In China, only Wi-Fi models are available.

by MacNN Staff



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