Online Apple Store down ahead of iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro Max and HomePod mini preorders


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Apple late Thursday took its online storefront down as it prepares for what is expected to be a crush of preorders for iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro Max and HomePod mini.

Following Apple’s typical preorder schedule, the new devices will be made available alongside other products like as-yet-unreleased iPhone 12 series leather cases on Friday at 5 a.m. Pacific, 8 a.m. Eastern. Apple this week said leather sleeves and the MagSafe Duo charger will ship at a later date.

This year’s iPhone lineup represents a significant update to Apple’s most recent handsets. A new iPhone 5-inspired design is applied across the range, while internal upgrades present improvements in key areas like processing, photographic capabilities and connectivity. On the latter, iPhone 12 marks Apple’s foray into 5G, with all models supporting the speedy protocol.

Apple’s new A14 Bionic system-on-chip powers the smartphone line, while each handset sports an OLED Super Retina XDR display. MagSafe is another tentpole feature, enabling fast 15W wireless charging, new case options and more.

The soon to be available iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max stretch Apple’s smartphone offerings to new limits.

The iPhone 12 mini boasts a 5.4-inch display seated in an aluminum chassis, includes ultra-wide and wide 12 megapixel cameras, and delivers a pocketable form factor. Like the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini supports Dolby Vision HDR video recording at up to 30 frames per second, while Apple claims battery life hits 15 hours.

Prices for the iPhone 12 mini start at $699 for a 64GB model and move to $749 for 128GB and $849 for 256GB. The iPhone 12 mini is offered in white, black, blue, green and Product(RED), with sales of the latter going toward the Global Fund to combat COVID-19.

Apple’s largest model, the iPhone 12 Pro Max, bumps up screen real estate to 6.7 inches and adds a telephoto camera into the mix. Further, the 12 Pro Max is the only iPhone 12 to benefit from a larger sensor on the wide angle camera, which also boasts sensor shift stabilization. A LiDAR Scanner assists in augmented reality applications and camera functions, while Dolby Vision HDR recording can reach 60 frames per second. Battery life is rated…