Apple’s iPhone 12, which is expected to be launched tomorrow, could be arriving at your doorsteps sooner than expected.
The Cupertino-California based company plans to leverage its network of 300 retail stores spread across the U.S. and Canada as distribution centers. The move is aimed at speeding up the delivery time and it follows a trend that is being seen across the retail industry.
Historically, Apple has shipped products directly from China or a warehouse present in the ordering customer’s region. However, Apple now expects to reduce the delivery time by shipping products in stock directly from local store locations. The move will especially be beneficial to customers that live further away from the company’s distribution centers.
This year, the company plans to deliver via FedEx ground shipping in the U.S. and through the United Parcel Service in the Canadian market. According to Bloomberg, the move is expected to facilitate delivery as soon as the next day of placing the order for customers that live within 100 miles of an Apple store.
Under the program, the company’s operations team will decide whether an item will ship from a nearby store or a distribution center. Customers, at this point, will not be given the option to modify this decision.
The company has reportedly been quietly testing the program at select few store locations since it began reopening its stores in late summer this year. It has since expanded the program, but it still does not cover all of the store locations in North America.
The program will also help Apple better utilize its brick and mortar footprint during the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced the company to shutter many of its stores and operate them in a limited capacity. Apple is also reportedly exploring the use of its store locations for providing online support and sales call centers should there be a need to close the stores again in the coming months. According to Bloomberg, the company is already using the backrooms in some of its stores as mini call centers.
At the event tomorrow, the company is expected to unveil its range of four new 5G-supporting iPhones, a smaller version of Homepod, a new iPad Air and over-ear headphones.