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Apple online store goes down in preparation of iPhone SE, 9.7-inch iPad Pro sales

Apple's online storefront went down for maintenance late Wednesday in preparation of a start to preorders for the iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro, two new devices announced at a special event on Monday.

Customers visiting Apple's online store are being presented with a splash screen reading, "We can't wait to show you what we have in store," a familiar notice the company uses prior to opening sales for a new product. In this case, Apple is expected to start sales of the new 4-inch iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro, which were unveiled onstage at the "Let us loop you in" event earlier this week.

A reworking of the iPhone 5s, iPhone SE is an amalgamation of internal components borrowed from iPhone 6 and 6s handsets. From the flagship 6s line comes an A9 system-on-chip with embedded M9 motion coprocessor and a 12-megapixel iSight camera with support for HD video capture at 4K resolutions. The SE snags its Touch ID module from the iPhone 6 which, alongside an NFC chip, enables Apple Pay payments.

As Apple's most affordable iPhone ever, iPhone SE starts at just $399 for a 16-gigabyte model, while a 64-gigabyte upgrade comes in at $499. Color options include silver, Space Gray, gold and rose gold.

Apple's 9.7-inch iPad Pro is very much a shrunken down version of the 12.9-inch Pro model launched last year. The tablet sports support for Apple Pencil, a Smart Connector port for a specially designed Smart Keyboard, quad-speaker audio and an impressive communications suite. Improvements over the 12.9-inch version include a True Tone display that automatically adjusts brightness and color temperature for a "paper-white" viewing experience, as well as an upgraded 12MP rear-facing camera with True Tone flash.

The new iPad Pro variant comes in at $599 for a 32GB version with Wi-Fi. A 128GB model runs $749, while a new 256GB configuration goes for $899. Wi-Fi + Cellular models are priced at $729, $879 and $1029 for 32GB, 128GB and 256GB, respectively.

Like the iPhone SE, Apple is offering the 9.7-inch iPad Pro in a new rose gold color variation, joining the usual space grey, gold and silver options.

Shipments for iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro orders placed on Thursday are scheduled to go out on March 31.

For those thinking about making a purchase, AppleInsider was on location at Monday's event and had a chance to go hands-on with Apple's latest iPhone and iPad Pro models.