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Online Apple Store down ahead of AirTag, purple iPhone 12 preorders

Apple late Thursday took its online storefront down as it prepares for an expected onslaught of preorders for new hardware, including purple iPhone 12 models and the much-anticipated AirTag.

As is tradition, the online Apple Store was pulled from service at around 11 p.m. Pacific, roughly six hours shy of a scheduled purple iPhone 12 and AirTag release.

In line with Apple’s typical preorder timeline, the new devices will be made available on Friday at 5 a.m. Pacific, 8 a.m. Eastern. Orders are expected to land in customers’ hands, and in brick-and-mortar Apple Stores, on April 30.

Unveiled during Tuesday’s “Spring Loaded” event, the purple iPhone 12 variants are identical to iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini models launched last year. The new purple colorway has been described as lavender or light purple, a hue that complements Apple’s spring collection of MagSafe accessories.

AirTag was also unwrapped after years of rumors and industry scuttlebutt. The diminutive tracker packs in a speaker, Bluetooth, NFC and U1 chip for broad Find My network discovery and precision finding with compatible iPhones. One of the few Apple products to boast a user-replaceable battery, the accessory is designed to attach to bags, keychains and other commonly lost items, where it can serve as a homing beacon for up to a year.

Apple’s purple iPhone 12 starts at $799 with 64GB storage, while a base model iPhone 12 mini with 64GB of storage comes in at $699.

AirTag sells for $29 a pop, or $99 for a pack of four. Apple is marketing a range of AirTag accessories like the Polyurethane Loop, Leather Loop and Leather Key Ring. The AirTag Hermes line includes a Bag Charm, Key Ring, Travel Tag, and Luggage Tag, each of which comes with one custom-engraved AirTag and a hefty price tag. AirTag can also be engraved with emoji and text characters for free.


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