Apple begins shipping iPhone 6 Plus units out of China

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We can confirm via several different people who ordered the device—including some of the 9to5Mac staff—that Apple has begun shipping iPhone 6 Plus units to customers. As expected, looking up these shipments with their UPS tracking numbers (or, in this case, reference number) reveals expected delivery dates of September 19th, the very same day that the phone is expected to start appearing in stores across the US.

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Competitors expected to miss deadlines as Apple floods Chinese shipping channels with iPhone 6

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Earlier this year we reported that Apple had ordered a record number of iPhone 6 units for the upcoming launch of the next-gen device. According to TechCrunch, the number of devices being shipped from China is so high that Apple is actually causing shipping delays for other companies.

Just how bad are the delays? According to a source from one unnamed electronics manufacturer, some companies have been told they’ll miss their shipping deadlines because a certain high-priority customer has essentially taken over the shipping channels.

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Slipping shipping times may support analyst prediction of new, cheaper iMacs launching at WWDC

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Slipping shipping times for iMacs on Apple’s site may support a timeline released last month by KGI Research analyst Ming-Chi Kuo indicating that new, lower-cost iMacs could be launched this quarter.

Apple usually quotes 24 hours for delivery of standard-configuration iMacs, but is currently showing 3-5 business days across the range. Increased shipping times are sometimes an indication of lower or sporadic stocks, which tend to precede the launch of new models. With WWDC just one week away, that would be a logical time to announce them …  Read more

Apple Online Store back online, revamped Mac Pro now available, shipping Dec. 30th

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During this year’s WWDC keynote address, Apple surprised pro users with a look at a completely redesigned version of the Mac Pro, a machine many thought had long been abandoned by the company. At the time, the only availability information that was available was an ambiguous “shipping by December,” though Apple recently gave a more specific release date: today.

After about an hour of downtime, the Apple Online Store has come back up with the option to order the latest-generation Mac Pro. The quad-core model starts at $2,999, with a 6-core model available starting at $3,999.

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Apple announces new Mac Pro pricing and availability, ships by Dec. starting at $2999

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After first unveiling the completely redesigned Mac Pro at WWDC earlier this year, Apple today gave the new machine a bit of stage time at its iPad event to announce pricing and availability details. The base model of the new Mac Pro (pictured above) will start at $2999 and ship by the end of the year.

While Apple will presumably have several configurations and built to order options available for the next-gen Mac Pro– including Quad 6, 8, or 12-core designs– it only announced base pricing for the configuration above. That model includes a 3.7GHz quad-core Xeon processor, 12GB of DRAM, Dual FirePro D300 graphics, 2GB VRAM each, and a 256GB 22D.

Apple is also listing a $3999 configuration on its online store that comes with a 6-core 3.5GHz Intel Xeon E5 processor, 16GB DDR3 ECC memory (configurable up to 32GB), and Dual AMD FirePro D500 with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM each.

Apple also mentioned on stage that it has new versions of Final Cut Pro and Aperture that support 4k and other features of the new Mac Pro while presenting first impressions from professionals that have been using the new machine.

The new Mac Pro features an all-new cylinder design that is 1/8th the volume of previous generation Mac Pros and also packs in some impressive specs that Apple’s Phil Schiller walked through today on stage (gallery below).  The new machine includes the latest Xeon processors in Quad 6, 8, or 12-core configurations, dual station FirePro GPUs with up to 12GB of GDDR5 VRAM, 4K video support, PCIe-based flash, ECC memory, and six Thunderbolt 2 ports.

Other specs include HDMI, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11ac WiFi, up to 1TB of flash storage, and a motion sensor that lights up I/O when picking up the Mac Pro.

Apple also noted today that it aimed to have the new Mac Pro as quite as the current Mac Mini and was able to achieve that goal.

The new Mac Pro will be assembled in the USA as part of Apple’s plan to bring manufacturing of some of its Macs back to the U.S. this year. (Full press release below) Read more

iMac shipping times continue to slip in EU to 4-6 weeks, as iPad mini shipping estimates improve

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We told you last month that shipping times for Apple’s new 21.5-inch iMacs slipped from an estimated delivery of 7 to 10 business days to 2 to 3 weeks. Today, iMacs are continuing to experience supply shortages with shipping times on many international Apple Stores once again pushed back. As noted by French language blog macg.co, Apple’s online store is now listing the 21.5-inch iMac as shipping in 3 to 4 weeks and the 27-inch model as available in 4 to 6 weeks in at least France. While Apple has yet to update its U.S. website with the new shipping times, Apple stores in Germany, the United Kingdom, Poland, the Netherlands, and many other European Union countries are now listing the longer wait times for new iMacs.

We heard that Apple expects to reach a supply and demand balance for the new iMacs (and iPad mini) within the next couple of months, but CEO Tim Cook recently noted that supply constraints will most likely continue into Q1. The same thing goes for Apple’s new iPad mini that, as of this week, is now shipping with an improved delivery time of 1 to 3 business days in at least the U.S. and Canada:

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Autodesk Smoke 2013 professional video-editing suite now shipping for $3,495

Autodesk Inc. announced today that it is now shipping the latest version of its professional video-editing suite for Mac, Autodesk Smoke 2013, starting at $3,495 SRP per license*. The latest version of Smoke provides a new user interface that combines Autodesk’s creative tools and effects with its track-based editing: ConnectFX for high-end effects, and Creative Tools—featuring “a robust toolset with proven high-end finishing tools.”

While noting a successful run for the trial download of the software, Autodesk said it implemented even more features and enhancements based on user recommendations. The new features include the ability to drag and drop a clip from the source player into the timeline, ability to expand/collapse the timeline FX pipeline area, and a redesign and streamlining of the UI and interface elements to speed up workflows.

“The anticipation for Smoke, since its thrilling announcement at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Vegas in April, has continued to build throughout the community of creative professionals. As a leader in high-end effects and 3D, Autodesk is committed to making that technology increasingly available to a new generation, and the new Smoke is case in point. The Smoke team has fielded thousands of inquiries and product recommendations in the process of developing Smoke 2013. I’m so excited to announce it’s here,” said Mark Strassman, Autodesk Media & Entertainment vice president strategy and marketing.

To accompany the launch today, Autodesk posted over a dozen videos showing off some of the features of Smoke 2013 to its YouTube page. We posted a few of the videos below that walk through the new user interface, ConnectFX, editing, and powerful 3D visual effects.

*You can buy Smoke directly from Autodesk (save $700 until Jan. 25) or at Amazon. EDU discounts are also available. Read more

First round of 27-inch iMacs expected to arrive as soon as Dec.13

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Earlier today, a number of customers who ordered the new 27-inch iMac when it went on sale on Nov. 30 started receiving notifications from Apple that their orders have now shipped. Apple quoted estimated delivery dates for these customers ranging from Dec. 18 to the end of the month. However, it appears some might even receive their new iMacs earlier with one 9to5Mac reader receiving an estimated arrival date of Dec. 13.

Apple changed the availability estimates for new 27-inch iMac orders on its website last week from “3-4 weeks” to “January”, indicating some new orders might not be available to ship until the end of next month. Unlike some of the new 21.5-inch iMacs originating from Fremont in the United States, many report orders of the 27-inch models as shipping from Shanghai, China.

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iPhone 5 Apple online store shipping time drops from 3-4 weeks to 2-3 weeks

Apple updated the iPhone 5 section of its online store to show shipping estimates for the handset have improved from “3 -4 weeks” to “2 -3 weeks”. The iPhone 5 has seen shipping delays since it first went on sale in late September due to high demand and problems in production. Today’s improvements follow official word from Foxconn in October that production for the iPhone 5 has improved. Foxconn said the iPhone 5 is “the most difficult device that Foxconn has ever assembled,” and it added production is getting better day-by-day. During Apple’s Q4 earnings call, CFO Peter Oppenheimer said, “We’re working very hard to get more into customer hands as quickly as possible.” CEO Tim Cook added, “The demand for iPhone 5 is extremely robust. We are in a significant state of backlog.”

Thanks, Luis!

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Some LTE iPads getting delivered as early as Friday, Nov. 16

Late last week, Apple started notifying customers that orders of LTE iPad minis would begin shipping within 5 business days. Those same customers were also reporting updated shipping times ranging from Nov. 21 to Nov. 23. As for the new iPad 4 with Retina display, Apple recently updated its website with an estimated shipping time of “7 business days,” but today we get word from several readers that existing orders of the device are set to arrive as early as Nov. 16.

The actual arrival time of the iPad 4 with LTE is a moving target, with earlier reports pointing to next week. However, with the release of the LTE iPad firmware on Apple’s servers on Nov. 8, it is likely that the review units are already in reviewers’ hands. So, a release this week isn’t out of the question.

The Nov. 16 date would line up nicely with Apple’s original promise to ship the LTE models of its new iPads within roughly 2 weeks of the Nov. 2 Wi-Fi-only launches. It looks like Apple might not be able to get out new orders of LTE iPad minis as quickly as the iPad 4, however, as its website currently lists the LTE capable minis as shipping in “2 weeks”.

Other rumors have also pointed to a Nov. 16 launch of in-store sales of the new LTE iPads at AT&T.

We’re sure to hear more. Another image below:

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New iPod touch begins shipping to customers and showing up in Apple Retail Stores alongside iPod nanos

Apple posted a user guide for the fifth-generation iPod touch to iBooks early this morning, indicating a retail launch for the device is coming sooner rather than later. Apple promised an October timeframe for preorders of the device shipping from its Online Store, but today we get word from readers that Apple is now shipping orders of the fifth-generation iPod touch, as well as the new iPod nano, with delivery expected early next week. The shipment notice above comes from a user in the United States with an expected delivery date of Oct. 15, but international users have reported receiving notices as well. The image below shows an expected delivery date of Oct. 15 from an Australian reader, while the new iPod nano is still listed as preparing for shipment. Yesterday, Apple started shipping orders for the 30-pin to Lightning adapterThanks, Penpal1278!

It also appears that Apple started to sell the new iPod touch and iPod nano in at least some of its retail locations:

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