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Apple iPhone 8, Apple Watch Series 3, Apple TV 4K preorders go live [u]

Right on schedule, Apple's iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple TV 4K all went up for preorder on Friday at 12:01 a.m. Pacific, through the company's dedicated Apple Store app for iOS and online storefront.

In the U.S., preorders first went live on the dedicated Apple Store app, with following suit after an approximate five minute delay. The short downtime is much improved compared to past iPhone launches, when customers were in some cases forced to wait hours to place their order.

Both iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are offered in three colors — silver, space gray, and a new shade of gold. Prices start at $699 for the 64GB 4.7-inch iPhone 8, while the 64GB 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus is pegged at $799. Higher capacity 256GB iPhone 8 and 8 Plus models run $849 and $949, respectively.

Apple is launching the new handsets in 29 regions including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UAE, the UK, the U.S. and U.S. Virgin Islands.

The first wave of preorders is set to arrive on Sept. 22, the same day Apple is expected to have stock on hand at its retail outlets in the above launch countries.

The smartphones are set to arrive in another 29 countries — Andorra, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Greenland, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, India, Isle of Man, Israel, Jersey, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Monaco, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia and Slovenia — on Friday, Sept. 29.

Though U.S. carriers are offering only moderate discounts on iPhone 8 hardware this year, prospective buyers can still offset Apple's slightly increased pricing by trading in their old iPhone.

Apple unveiled iPhone 8 at a special event on Tuesday. The phone's aesthetics remain largely unchanged from last year's iPhone 7, which itself was very similar to iPhone 6 and 6s, though the new handset features a glass back to enable wireless Qi charging. Inside, iPhone 8 is powered by the new six-core A11 Bionic chip, True Tone display, enhanced cameras, better speakers and more.

Alongside iPhone 8, preorders for Apple Watch Series 3 went live. Series 3 with GPS + Cellular devices are launching in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, the UK and the U.S., with more countries due to support the device next year. A GPS-only version is also available with wider availability in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the UK, the U.S. and U.S. Virgin Islands.

Looking ahead, Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS) will launch in the UAE on Saturday, Sept. 23, while Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Guam, Hungary, Iceland, India, Jersey, Macau, Monaco, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Thailand and Turkey get access to the device on Friday, Sept. 29. Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are to follow on Sept. 30.

The Nike+ version of Apple Watch Series 3 is also available to order, but ships out a bit later on Oct. 5 in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guam, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Macau, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, the UK and the U.S.

This year's Apple Watch Hermes features two new leather band styles and is available to order today, with shipments set to arrive in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, the UK and the U.S. on Sept. 22.

Apple Watch Series 3 starts at $329 for GPS-only 38mm aluminum versions, while GPS + Cellular models of the same size start at $399. Apple Watch Nike+ models start at $329, Apple Watch Hermes at $1,149 and Apple Watch Edition at $1,249.

The standout feature for Watch this year is LTE and UMTS connectivity, which will allow users to stream music, conduct voice calls, send and receive messages, operate data-reliant apps and more without being tethered to an iPhone. Along with a faster dual-core processor that powers special features like Siri voice feedback, Series 3 boasts new watch faces and runs the latest watchOS 4.

Finally, Apple TV 4K preorders went live on Friday ahead of a Sept. 22 launch. The new set-top streamer sports an A10X Fusion processor capable of 4K resolutions and HDR color reproduction, both firsts for Apple's box.

To go along with new hardware capabilities, Apple struck deals with major Hollywood studios — save for Disney — to offer 4K HDR movies at the same cost as 1080p HD versions. Customers who have purchased HD movies on the iTunes Store will be treated to free 4K HDR upgrades, which should show up in user libraries automatically once the device arrives next week.

Apple TV 4K is priced at $179 for 32 GB of storage or $199 for 64 GB.

Make sure to check out AppleInsider's hands-on look at Apple's new iPhone 8 series and Apple Watch Series 3 for more information.

Update: Certain Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) models sold out just minutes after preorders went live. For example, Stainless Steel models with white sport band and Space Gray versions with Apple's new Sport Loop are showing ship times of two to three weeks. Apple authorized reseller B&H is also accepting Series 3 Watch preorders with no sales tax collected outside NY and NJ. At press time, the retailer shows an expected availability date of Sept. 22.

Apple's iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are also seeing launch day stockouts. As of 2 a.m. Pacific, AT&T shipments of 64GB iPhone 8 Plus units in gold have slipped to Sept. 25 to Oct. 2. On T-Mobile, 64GB iPhone 8 models in black and 256GB units in silver are showing ship times pushed out 3 to 4 weeks, while all iPhone 8 Plus models save for the 256GB silver version are seeing delays.