FEATURE: 10.20.21 – By now, you’ve probably heard everything there is to know about the products that were unveiled at Apple’s second Fall product announcement of the year, but when will they finally be available in-store and/or ship to your door?
Apple — at its “unleashed” event this past Monday — announced a handful of new products just in time for the holiday shopping season. From additional colors for last year’s HomePod mini to a pair of Mac notebook computers geared toward the pros, there may have been something there that caused you to whip out your credit card (or Apple Card if you have one) the second they became available for purchase online at apple.com.
Despite the availability of COVID-19 vaccines, considering how we’re currently in the midst of a global pandemic and some may still be weary of shopping in-store when the option to get something shipped to your door is safer and more convenient, you might be wondering what the current shipping times are and when you can expect your order to arrive at your doorstep (note that in some metropolitan areas, Apple has the option for same day, 2-hour delivery for a fee).
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Updated HomePod mini & New AirPods
Apple kicked off its event by talking about music with the first piece of hardware announced being an old one from last year, its small smart speaker, the HomePod mini, which has been updated to sport a range of colors other than space gray and white. The 3.3-inch tall sphere now comes in blue, orange, and yellow with a matching color scheme to boot, from the volume icons on its tinted touch-based “screen” to the mesh fabric wrapped around the speakers and the woven USB-C cable that powers the device.
Still just $99 for all five colors, the HomePod mini in both space gray and white are currently in stock and can be purchased now in stores and for same day in-store pickup (may vary by your local Apple Store) and ship the next day while the new blue, orange, and yellow options will be available at retail and for ordering on apple.com in November.
Already have a HomePod mini but don’t yet have an Apple Music subscription plan?
Apple announced an even cheaper tier for Apple Music with its new voice plan joining the individual and family subscription plans (or Apple One bundle). Using just your voice, of course, and the power of Siri, you can access Apple’s entire collection of music, popular playlists, genre stations, including Apple Music Radio all for a reduced price.
The new voice plan for Apple Music is just $4.99 (versus $9.99 for an individual or $14.99 for a family) and can be subscribed to later this Fall. A free 7-day preview (one-time use only) that does not auto renew is also available for those that request music through Siri on their device.
Apple also announced the third generation of its most popular wearable, AirPods, for listening to your music privately while on the go. Whether its working out to Apple Music or enjoying stereo sound for a movie or TV show on Apple TV+ via your Mac, Apple’s wireless earbuds are now even better than ever before with an all-new design featuring spatial audio and even longer battery life.
The new third generation AirPods remains at just $179 and are currently in stock at apple.com and ships next Tuesday or will be available in stores and for in-store pickup (may vary by your local Apple retail store) beginning on October 26. (The previous model of Apple’s wireless earbuds has been lowered by $50 and are now only $129).
An Updated & All-New MacBook Pro
Probably the most awaited product announcement of the year revolved around Apple’s Pro-branded Mac notebook computers which now sport next gen Apple silicon inside.
Touted by the company in its press release as “the next breakthrough chips for the Mac,” the new M1 Pro and M1 Max scale up the architecture of the original M1 chip which was announced last year. According to Apple, M1 Pro and M1 Max introduce a system-on-a-chip (SoC) architecture to its pro systems for the first time. The chips feature fast unified memory, industry-leading performance per watt, and incredible power efficiency, along with increased memory bandwidth and capacity.
- the CPU in M1 Pro and M1 Max delivers up to 70 percent faster CPU performance than M1
- the GPU in M1 Pro is up to 2x faster while M1 Max is up to an “astonishing” 4x faster than M1
- M1 Pro offers up to 200GB/s of memory bandwidth with support for up to 32GB of unified memory while M1 Max delivers up to 400GB/s of memory bandwidth — 2x that of M1 Pro and nearly 6x that of M1 — and support for up to 64GB of unified memory
As far as the Macs that have the new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips inside, Apple announced two totally redesigned Mac notebook computers geared towards its professional users, an updated 16-inch and an all-new 14-inch model of the MacBook Pro. Each laptop now features a wide array of ports from Thunderbolt 4 and a new HDMI port to the return of an SD card slot (XDSC) and MagSafe (MagSafe 3). Both laptops also feature a 1080p FaceTime HD camera contained within a notch on a new Liquid Retina XDR display with ProMotion technology as the screens now sport even thinner bezels for more screen real estate than ever before.
The all-new MacBook Pro 14-inch starts at $1,999 while the updated 16-inch model still costs $2,499 for the base configuration (education customers can save $150 and $200, respectively). The two Mac notebook computers are available for purchase now on apple.com and will begin arriving to customers as well as in-store (in select Apple Store retail locations only) on October 26.
‘One More Thing…’
Unbeknownst to those that watched the “Unleashed” event online, Apple had one additional product that it didn’t actually announce but was new to its online store at apple.com.
According to a report from Macworld magazine, Apple is now selling a Polishing Cloth for your devices’ screens. Per the publication, Apple says the accessory is compatible with the following devices:
- iPhone 6 models and later
- all Apple Watch, iPad, as well as iPod touch models
- iMac and MacBook models dating back to 2015 including Pro Display XDR
Macworld reports that Apple doesn’t list the specs of its new polishing cloth so the magazine can’t report how large the accessory is. Based on the images provided on apple.com, however, it appears to be a perfect square with a small embossed Apple logo in the bottom right corner. The plain white cloth, which is made of a soft, non-abrasive material will clean, per Apple’s product description, “any Apple display, including nano-texture glass, safely and effectively.”
Apple’s new polishing cloth retails for $19 and is available for pre-order only and is not yet sold in stores. According to Macworld, when it originally posted the report, the shipping time for the accessory indicated a delivery date between October 26 and 28, but is currently backordered and Now reflects an arrival date of November 24.