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Apple Watch Order Statuses Shifting to 'Preparing for Shipment'

Apple Watch order statuses have begun changing from "Processing Items" to "Preparing for Shipment" as Apple gets ready to send out the first Apple Watch orders to customers who pre-ordered their devices on Friday, April 10. Apple Watch orders that have changed to "Preparing for Shipment" are still listing prospective delivery dates of 4/24 to 5/8, but the first orders are expected to begin arriving on Friday April 24, the official launch date of the Apple Watch. Now that order statuses have shifted, customers should begin receiving shipment emails in the near future.

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The change to customer order statuses comes just minutes after Apple began charging credit and debit cards for Apple Watch purchases. As we have previously mentioned, bulk shipments of the Apple Watch have already been arriving at central distribution centers across the United States from China, where the Apple Watch was manufactured. Apple Watch orders will ship out from these central distribution centers via Fedex and UPS, so despite the late shipping date, many devices will arrive on Friday.

With the iPhone 6, Apple also shipped hundreds of thousands of devices to central distribution centers before updating customers on the status of their orders. iPhones began shipping out on Monday and Tuesday for a Friday delivery, and it's likely Apple Watch orders will follow the same general timeline.

Deliveries could come from any of the major shipping hubs in the United States, which include Memphis, Tennessee; Louisville, Kentucky (UPS' WorldPort location); Indianapolis, Indiana; Newark, New Jersey; and Oakland, California. Many orders are likely to pass first through Anchorage, Alaska, where both UPS and FedEx have logistics centers, before heading out to other distribution sites.

The earliest Apple Watch pre-orders listed ambiguous delivery dates of 4/24 to 5/8, but Apple's head of retail Angela Ahrendts stated in a memo to employees last week that "customers who pre-ordered will start receiving deliveries next Friday as planned," so customers who managed to pre-order in the minutes before shipping dates started slipping will see deliveries this week.

Once an order changes to Preparing for Shipment, customers may be able to track by reference number using a phone number on the UPS and FedEx websites to get tracking information before a shipping email even goes out.

Related roundup: Apple Watch

Apple Watch Charges Begin Showing Up On Credit and Debit Cards

According to dozens tweets and emails received by MacRumors, Apple has just begun charging customers who pre-ordered the Apple Watch for their purchases. The charges suggest that early Apple Watch orders will soon shift from "Processing Items" to "Preparing for Shipment" as Apple gears up to begin sending devices to customers ahead of the Apple Watch's Friday April 24 launch date.

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As we shared earlier today, bulk shipments of the Apple Watch have already begun arriving at central distribution centers across the United States and are ready to begin heading to customers over the next few days. We haven't seen word of shipments happening yet, but status changes should happen within the next few hours.

Apple Watch pre-orders began selling out within minutes as orders came up on April 10, but those who managed to place an order shortly after 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time will likely receive an April 24 delivery date. Even the earliest Apple Watch pre-orders offered delivery estimates of April 24 to May 8, but Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts suggested the first Apple Watch orders would arrive on April 24 in a memo shared with employees last week.

Customers who were not lucky enough to pre-order within the first few hours that the Apple Watch was available will likely be waiting for several more weeks to receive their devices, but Apple executives did tell one MacRumors reader that those orders could arrive sooner than expected as supplies ramp up. Apple Watch pre-orders placed today offer shipping estimates that range into June and beyond.

Related roundup: Apple Watch

Shazam, OneDrive, Porsche, FIFA 15, ESPN, JetBlue and More Apps Updated for Apple Watch

Shazam Apple WatchA number of notable apps have been updated with Apple Watch support to start off the week, including Shazam, Microsoft OneDrive, Porsche Car Connect, FIFA 15 Ultimate Team by EA SPORTS, Epicurious, Nick Jr, ESPN, Avea, JetBlue and Letterpad. The updates should be rolling out on the App Store today prior to the Apple Watch launch on April 24.

Shazam for Apple Watch will enable you to discover which artist, song and lyrics you are listening to from your wrist in seconds. You will also be able to see your past Shazams at a Glance with a simple swipe up gesture, turn on Auto Shazam to continue discovering music automatically and use Handoff on Apple Watch and iPhone to buy songs on iTunes, watch videos and more. Shazam is free on the App Store.

Microsoft recently released an update for the OneDrive app to view your photos and albums stored on the cloud storage service on an Apple Watch. You can view your most recent photos, delete photos you don't want to keep, find photos by tag and view your albums directly from your wrist using the latest version of the app. OneDrive is free on the App Store with tiered storage plans available.

Porsche Apple Watch App
Porsche Car Connect for Apple Watch (Image: WatchAware)

Porsche Car Connect has been updated to allow remote display and control of your Porsche from an Apple Watch. The app, compatible with select 2014 models and later, provides safety notifications, journey statistics, vehicle status and a vehicle locator directly on the Apple Watch. Porsche Car Connect is free on the App Store and available for the new Panamera, 918 Spyder, Macan and Cayenne.

EA Sports has introduced new Apple Watch features for FIFA 15 Ultimate Team that help you assemble and manage the ultimate soccer team from your wrist. FIFA 15 Ultimate Team for Apple Watch lets you manage your top five player transfers and get instant game-related notifications. FIFA 15 Ultimate Team by EA SPORTS is free on the App Store with in-app purchases available.

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First Wave of Apple Watches Begin Shipping Ahead of Friday's Launch

Apple Watch pre-orders are being sent to centralized distribution points across the United States as couriers prepare the shipments to be delivered ahead of the wrist-worn device's launch on April 24, according to a source for MacRumors that has provided accurate information in the past.

Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts confirmed earlier this month that Apple Watch pre-order deliveries will begin on April 24 as scheduled, although many customers have received shipping estimates of 4-6 weeks or later and it remains unknown how many Apple Watch pre-orders will be delivered on day one.

Apple Watch Trio
iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus pre-orders began switching from "Processing Items" to "Preparing for Shipment" on the Apple Online Store for several customers on the Monday prior to Friday delivery, so customers that pre-ordered the Apple Watch early should see their order status change soon. Due to limited stock and the wide 4/24—5/8 delivery estimate for launch day pre-orders, however, there is a possibility that pre-order statuses may take longer to change.

To date, we've not seen any reports of pre-orders changing or credit cards being charged, but our source assures us bulk shipments have begun, so we should see movement on individual order statuses very soon. In the meantime, Apple has begun charging credit cards and preparing to ship Apple Watch accessories such as the charging cable and AppleCare+ Protection Plans.

Apple Watch pre-orders were available on April 10 at 12:01 AM Pacific through the Apple Online Store in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and United Kingdom, and sold out completely in less than six hours. The company also began taking Apple Watch try-on appointments the same day at Apple retail stores and select fashion boutiques such as Selfridges in London, Isetan in Tokyo and Galeries Lafayette in Paris.

Update: In line with this report, Apple is beginning to charge credit cards and Apple Watch pre-order statuses are changing to "Prepare for Shipment."

Related roundup: Apple Watch , Tag: Apple Watch pre-orders

Apple Highlights Environmental Responsibility in 2015 Progress Report

Apple on Monday shared its 2015 Environmental Responsibility Report that reflects on the company's environmental progress during the 2014 fiscal year. The report focuses on Apple's commitment to climate change, renewable resources, finite resources, and toxins, and outlines the company's 2014 carbon footprint and other usage information.

2014 Carbon Footprint Apple
Apple's latest environmental progress report highlights that 100% of its U.S. operations and 87% of its global operations are run on renewable energy. Apple emitted 34.2 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions during the 2014 fiscal year, with 24.8 million metric tons resulting from manufacturing, 7 million metric tons coming from product usage, and the rest divided between facilities, transportation, and recycling.

Apple has recycling programs in 99% of the countries it operates, recovering 40,396 metric tons of steel and other metals, glass, aluminum, plastics and other materials for reuse in 2014. Apple will also be recycling over 95% of materials from existing buildings for use in Apple Campus 2, and the new headquarters will use 30% less energy than a traditional R&D office building.

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Apple's 40-megawatt solar farm in Hongyuan, China

Apple has also uploaded a new video to its YouTube channel called "Better Starts Here" that promotes the company's environmental responsibility throughout its supply chain, data centers and other worldwide operations. Apple emphasizes how it plans to leave the world better than it found it by using renewable energy sources such as hydro power, solar farms and wind turbines, committing to forest preservation, creating energy efficient devices and more.
"Apple’s commitment to the environment starts from the ground up. We strive to create not only the best products in the world, but the best products for the world. And over the past year, we’ve made significant progress through projects that focus on renewable energy and forest preservation. Learn how we are leaving the world better than we found it."

Apple emphasizes its recent partnerships with The Conservation Fund and SunPower Corporation to build two solar plants in China and work to protect forests and paper supplies respectively as part of its environmental commitment. The initiatives are led by Apple's VP of Environmental Initiatives Lisa Jackson to ensure that Apple's supply chain remains sustainable in the future.

iMac Shipping Estimates Slip to 3-5 Business Days for Most Models

iMac shipping estimates have slipped to 3-5 business days on the Apple Online Store in the United States for all models aside from the entry-level 21.5-inch option with a 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor. The high-end 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro is also now showing an estimated shipping date of 1-2 weeks. Both the iMac and 15" Retina MacBook Pro were previously listed as in stock.

iMac 21.5 3-5 Days
The majority of the iMac lineup, excluding the low-end 21.5-inch iMac released in June 2014 and iMac with Retina 5K Display launched in October 2014, was last updated in September 2013 with the latest Intel Haswell processors, faster PCI Express-based flash storage options and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Based on its average product cycle, the all-in-one desktop computer is long overdue for a refresh.

Nevertheless, the iMac is not expected to be updated until Intel releases desktop class Broadwell chips during the second quarter of 2015. Intel's first 14nm desktop processors, including the Core i5-5675C, i7-5775C, i5-5575R, i5-5675R and i7-5775R CPUs with Iris Pro 6200 integrated graphics, are expected to be announced during Computex Taiwan in early June, with some chips expected to launch in mid-May, and should become readily available as early as July or August.

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Intel's Broadwell desktop chips based on 14nm manufacturing process (via CPU World)

Ultimately, the extended iMac shipping estimates of 3-5 business days could be nothing more than regular stock fluctuations on the Apple Online Store, although it is worth noting as the release of Broadwell desktop chips approaches. At this point, it remains more likely that refreshed iMacs will be announced at WWDC 2015 at the earliest, but Apple's plans could change based on Intel's release timeline.

Related roundups: iMac, MacBook Pro , Tags: Intel, Apple Store, Broadwell

Jony Ive Reveals Exclusive Apple Watch Sport Bands at Milan Design Week

Earlier today the Apple Watch went on display at Milan's Salone Del Mobile Design, with Apple SVP of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller and design consult Marc Newson in attendance. Now, it appears that Jony Ive also made it to the event, revealing exclusive sport band colors for the Apple Watch at the same time.

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Image via Umberta Gnutti Beretta Instagram

Art enthusiast and philanthropist Umberta Gnutti Beretta posted a photo of a tray holding the new band colors on her Instagram account (via 9to5Mac). The colors include what appears to be two shades of blue, the custom red band seen earlier today and a range of "skin-tone" colors, going from darker browns to lighter tans and peaches. This marks the third time exclusive new Apple Watch band options have been seen in the wild, with the previous two being the custom red band and the custom gold link bracelet Karl Lagerfeld received.

Milan is known as one of the more important cities in the fashion world, and an important destination for Apple as it continues to court the fashion world to its brand new product. While it's unknown whether Apple will release these brand new and never-before-seen sport bands for the general public, it's been rumored that the Cupertino company is looking to introduce additional casing materials for the Apple Watch later this year, suggesting that new band options are also in the cards.

Related roundup: Apple Watch , Tags: Jony Ive, Apple Watch bands

WWDC 2015 Lottery Ends, Winners Begin Receiving Confirmation Emails

Developer demand for Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference always exceeds ticket supply, so Apple holds a lottery to determine which developers will win the chance to go to the conference. This year, Apple accepted lottery entries from April 14 until today, April 17, at 10 a.m. Pacific Time.

Now that the lottery has ended, Apple has begun sending out emails to developers who were selected and has charged their credit cards the $1,599 ticket price. Developers who won are currently sharing their good fortune on Twitter after receiving order confirmations.

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This year's Worldwide Developers Conference starts on June 8 and will run through June 12 at Moscone West in San Francisco. More than 1,500 Apple engineers will be on hand to host over 100 technical sessions and hands-on labs. The event is also likely to include a keynote to unveil new products, and it will include the annual Apple Design Awards.

At WWDC this year, Apple is expected to unveil the newest versions of iOS and OS X -- iOS 9 and OS X 10.11. There have also been rumors suggesting the event could be used to unveil a new television service, a revamped Apple TV set-top box, and a rebranded Beats music service.

Developers who are unable to attend or who do not win the ticket lottery will be able to watch several live streams of WWDC sessions that will cover a wide range of topics from the iPad and iPhone to the Apple Watch and MacBook, along with other Apple products and services.

Related roundup: WWDC 2015

Former iOS Chief Scott Forstall is Now a Broadway Producer

Former Apple iOS chief turned Snapchat advisor Scott Forstall has taken on a new project, according to his first ever tweet on Twitter. Forstall is co-producing the upcoming Broadway musical Fun Home, a show that opens this Sunday.

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Forstall is listed as one of the producers of Fun Home along with his wife Molly on the Internet Broadway Database, and he and his wife also have a paragraph in the show's playbill.
The Forstalls (Producer). This is Scott and Molly Forstall's first foray on Broadway after years in Silicon Valley. They share their love of theatre with their children, Freya and Nils, both of whom are enthusiastic theatregoers and performers. Thanks to Carole for the magnificent journey.
Forstall's announcement of his position as Broadway producer comes just a day after leaked Sony emails suggested he'd received .11 percent of Snapchat's stock to serve as an advisor to the company. Since being ousted from Apple in 2012, Forstall has kept a very low profile, and this occasion marks his first public announcement and appearance in years.

Scott Forstall first fell in league with Apple in 1992, when he took on a job at Steve Jobs' company, NeXT. When NeXT was acquired by Apple in 1997, Forstall stayed on, working on the Macintosh user design team. He was promoted several times and in 2005, he began working on iOS. Forstall has been largely credited with the skeuomorphic design present in the early years of the operating system, an aesthetic that eventually led to disagreements with other executives at the company following Steve Jobs' death.

Apple Planning November Launch of Apple Pay in Canada

applepayApple is planning to launch Apple Pay in Canada later this year, according to The Wall Street Journal. The report, citing people familiar with the matter, claims Apple is in negotiations with six Canadian banks about a potential November launch of the mobile payments service, which debuted in the United States last October and has yet to become available in other countries.

The six Canadian banks reportedly in talks with Apple include the Royal Bank of Canada, TD Canada Trust, Scotiabank, Bank of Montreal, CIBC and National Bank of Canada. The financial institutions, which together account for more than 90% of Canadian bank accounts, are open to supporting Apple Pay in Canada, although have expressed concern about higher fees and potential security issues.
"The banks are open to an agreement, but they aren’t happy with Apple’s fee proposals and are concerned about security vulnerabilities like the ones that U.S. banks experienced as they rolled out the service, the people said."
Canada is a well-prepared candidate to receive Apple Pay support, as many retailers and businesses across the country are already equipped with contactless payment terminals that are required for the iPhone-based mobile payments service. The country was one of the earlier adopters of Chip-and-PIN debit and credit cards that can be tapped against a payment terminal when making a purchase, and Apple Pay would be a natural extension of that functionality.

The six Canadian banks have reportedly formed a consortium and hired consultancy firm McKinsey & Co. to develop a security protocol for Apple Pay. The financial institutions have also considered the need for secondary authentication to verify customer information, such as entering a PIN, logging on to a mobile banking app or using a one-time passcode sent via text message before cards can be used on Apple Pay.

Apple announced last year that it is targeting international expansion of Apple Pay, and speculation has mainly been focused upon Canada, China and the United Kingdom. Apple's efforts to launch Apple Pay in China have faced some roadblocks, however, and Apple's talks to roll out Apple Pay in the United Kingdom during the first half of 2015 are similarly stalled as some banks are concerned about potential privacy issues.

Related roundup: Apple Pay , Tag: Canada

Apple Watch Goes on Display in Milan, Phil Schiller and Marc Newson on Hand

After being announced to appear at Milan's Salone Del Mobile Design Fair earlier in the week, today the Apple Watch was displayed for the first time to the public, outside of a retail store or pop up shop, at the design fair (via Macitynet) [Google Translate].

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The Apple Watch on display in the Carlo e Camilla restaurant

On display at the Carlo e Camilla restaurant in Segheria, the Watch is displayed in long rows of glass-topped tables, identical to its presentation in Apple's own retail locations. The fair is even allowing customers to experience the same try-on appointments happening in retail stores since pre-orders began one week ago.

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The entrance to the Apple Watch showcase at the fair

Interestingly, as the Watch is displayed at the Carlo e Camilla in Italy, pre-orders for the wearable aren't available to Italian customers due to Italy not being included in the first wave of launch countries for the Watch. There to experience the event is senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple, Phil Schiller, and Marc Newson, who works part time at Apple as a designer alongside Jony Ive.

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Phil Schiller at the event in Milan

Although Apple has yet to confirm pre-order numbers for the Watch, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes the device could have sold more than 2.3 million units during the initial pre-order wave. While the exact number remains a mystery, stock of the Apple watch definitely remains constrained as pre-orders for all devices slipped to a 4-6 week dispatch date, and beyond, only 6 hours after going live.

Related roundup: Apple Watch , Tags: Phil Schiller, Marc Newson

Apple Watch With Custom Red Sport Band, Folding UK Plug Spotted in New Photos

British cyclist and former professional rugby player Will Carling has shared a pair of new photos on Twitter that appear to reveal two unreleased Apple products. The first photo shows a stainless steel Apple Watch with what looks like a custom red sport band, while the second photo provides a side-by-side look at an Apple charger with a unique folding plug design for use in the United Kingdom.

Folding UK Plug and Red Apple Watch
Carling claims that Apple design chief Jony Ive provided him with the folding charger, which could be the official charger for the Apple Watch in the United Kingdom, and it is likely that is who gifted him the Apple Watch with a custom red sport band as well. Ive grew up in England and is known to be a rugby fan, and Carling was the former captain of England's national rugby team from 1988 to 1996.

It is possible that the photo is actually of an Apple Watch with the similar looking pink sport band, although the lighting in the shot gives the band more of a red appearance and Carling mentions that he prefers "the red band" on Twitter. Apple has given a custom watch to at least one other iconic figure, with designer Karl Lagerfeld spotted wearing an Apple Watch with gold link bracelet earlier this week.

It is possible that Apple may eventually release a (PRODUCT)RED version of the Apple Watch by offering this custom red sport band for sale. Apple gives a portion of sales generated from (PRODUCT)RED merchandise to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa, raising over $70 million towards the initiative to date. Apple's current (PRODUCT)RED lineup includes iPods, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus cases, and iPad Smart Cases and Covers.

Related roundup: Apple Watch , Tag: (PRODUCT)RED