Public launch September 17 ahead of iPhone 6 debut.
Apple Offers Free No-Minimum Shipping Through December 22, Posts Holiday Shipping Deadlines
In the United States, Apple's earliest deadlines are for the Retina iPad mini and the iPad Air, which must be ordered by midnight on December 5 and December 9, respectively, for delivery by December 24. Other iPads can be ordered as late as December 22 with Next Day Shipping, but Next Day Shipping is not available for Apple’s most popular iPads.
Unsurprisingly, the iPhone 5s must also be ordered early, with a deadline of December 12 and no Next Day Shipping Available. Other non-engraved iPhones, iPods, and standard configuration Macs can be ordered as late as December 18 with standard shipping and December 22 with Next Day Air. Custom orders and orders with engravings must be placed earlier.
Apple is offering free shipping with no minimum order on all products through December 22 and later in the month, it is likely the company will upgrade that to free next-day shipping for last minute orders as it did last year. Free shipping typically requires a $50 minimum purchase, which has been waived through the holidays.
Holiday return periods have also been extended, with products purchased from November 1, 2013 through December 25, 2013 eligible for return until January 7, 2014.