Apple's retail stores will open early on Friday, Nov. 1 to serve customers eager to pick up the company's new iPad Air
. Apple announced on its website on Thursday that Apple Stores will be opening at 8 a.m., an hour earlier than they typically open, in order to sell the new iPad. Apple has in the past opened its retail locations early for other product launches, including the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.
As was the case with the iPhone 5s, the iPad Air is not available for online preordering. Instead, online ordering for the device will likely launch at 12:01 a.m. Pacific for the new iPad. Previous iPad launches have allowed customers to order the devices for home delivery on launch day.
In the case of the iPhone 5s, that lack of a preorder period was due to supply constraints brought about by difficulties in producing the device's Touch ID biometric sensor, according to some reports. Apple built no such components into the iPad Air, so it is unclear what is keeping the company from allowing preorders for the device.
The iPad Air features a slimmer design that follows the lead of the iPad mini, with a more rounded look and smaller bezels on the sides of the screen. It also packs the A7 processor and M7 motion co-processor that the iPhone 5s has, as well as a 5MP iSight camera, 1080p FaceTime HD camera, and dual microphones. It will retail for $499 for a 16GB Wi-Fi only model, with prices rising according to capabilities and storage.
November 1 will not see Apple launching the other new iPad it announced, the iPad mini with Retina display
. That device will launch later in November, though Apple has not been specific on a date.