(Shutterstock)

Apple stores are now doubling as distribution centers as part of a plan to increase shipping speeds for online shoppers.


Customers living within 100 miles of an Apple store should expect faster delivery times, according to a recent Bloomberg report. That means Central Texas residents could receive their new iPhones, Macs and iPads delivered directly from its Apple Barton Creek store or its Apple Domain Northside store.

Products should arrive the same day or the next day, according to 9to5 Mac, an Apple-focused news site.

Non-coincidentally, Apple Inc. released plans Tuesday for its new iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, the company's first 5G-compatible mobile device.

"With this new method, Apple will likely be able to better handle the high number of online orders for the new iPhones. Shipping products from its retail stores will also reduce operating costs, Apple told its employees," the 9to5 Mac report states.

The iPhone 12 Pro is available for online buyers starting Oct. 16 and in-store customers starting Oct. 23. The iPhone 12 Pro Max debuts shortly after, with online sales starting Nov. 6 and in-store sales starting Nov. 13.

Other highly anticipated products launching include the new iPad Air, over-ear headphones and a smaller HomePod, according to Bloomberg. In total, there are more than 300 Apple Stores in the U.S. and Canada.

But customers can't choose where orders originate, the report says. Instead, Apple's operations team decides, according to company sources.

The news represents another reminder of Apple's increasing presence in Austin. The California-based tech company is in the midst of a $1 billion expansion plan in Austin that includes a 3-million-square-foot campus near its existing office on Parmer Lane.

That is where the Mac Pro, "Apple's most power computer ever," according to CEO Tim Cook, is produced. Cook and President Donald Trump visited the Austin-based Apple facilities in late 2019 in anticipation of a Mac Pro redesign, which is also produced there.

In total, Apple employs 7,000 people in Austin, according to the company.

The Apple store in Domain Northside as well as the Barton Creek location are open on a limited basis for online pickup orders as well as appointment-only shopping and support.

More on Apple:

Video: Austin's new $1 billion Apple campus under construction youtu.be
(Anna Moneymaker/Pool via REUTERS)

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