Apple to ship iPhones, Macs from retail stores for faster deliveries

Apple's next iPhones might be late in coming but they won't be late in arriving at your door. In fact, this year's new Apple products may be the fastest delivered in the company's history. That will reportedly be thanks to Apple adopting a practice that retailers have already been using, tapping into its retail store network to deliver iPhones, iPads, Macs, and other Apple products to customers that are closer to their vicinity than, say, directly from some warehouse or even from China.

It may sound like a small and almost insignificant change but it's a rather substantial one for a company that has traditionally kept a tight lid over everything. By shipping from warehouses in a certain region or from China, Apple has more direct control and supervision over where things are. In effect, it's giving up part of that control but is also offloading responsibilities to its retail stores.

According to Bloomber's sources, Apple has informed store staff about these changes that are intended to improve delivery time. Whereas the previous system meant buyers needed to wait for days, a new iPhone could be in users' hands just the day after ordering based on this new distribution strategy. Apple will, of course, still control where an item gets shipped from and buyers won't really have a choice or even know about it.

This rather historic change for the company comes at a time when Apple is preparing to launch a slew of new products at a time when its resources, especially human resources, are quite constrained. This would not only allow it to spread the distribution sources wider and reduce delivery times, it also gives retail stores the opportunity to keep operating even when closed. There are an estimated 300 retail sites in North America alone, most of which remain closed.

The product lineup in the coming days is expected to be huge, which probably also made the change in distribution strategy necessary. In addition to the first 5G iPhones, Apple is also expected to unveil a new iPad Air, a number of audio accessories, and Macs that run on Apple's own Silicon, just to name a few.