How to preorder a new iMac, iPad Pro or Apple TV the right way

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How to preorder a 2021 iMac
Be ready for Friday morning.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s colorful new M1-powered iMacs, the new iPad Pros (also with M1 chips) and the faster Apple TV 4K go on sale Friday. If you want to ensure you get yours on launch day, you need to get ready to preorder the right way.

Check out our preorder tips before this new Apple gear goes on sale at 5 a.m. PDT on April 30.

Apple’s super-fast M1 chip is finally coming to iMac, alongside a brand-new design that measures just 11.5mm thick. Packed into the new iMac’s slender shell is a 24-inch 4.5K Retina display with True Tone technology, a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, up to 2TB of storage and up to 16GB of RAM.

iPad Pro gets the same M1 chip. The new tablets are also configurable with up to 2TB of storage and up to 16GB of RAM, and it’s wrapped up inside a familiar form factor that’s only slightly thicker than that of the 2020 iPad Pro. (Sadly, that little bit of extra thickness means upgraders will need a new Magic Keyboard.)

How to preorder a 2021 iPad Pro: The 2021 iPad Pro also comes with a new Magic Keyboard
The 2021 iPad Pro ushers in a new Magic Keyboard.
Photo: Apple

The new Apple TV 4K will be the fastest yet, thanks to an A12 Bionic chip — the same one found inside iPhone XS. It also offers high-frame-rate HDR video (where available) in Ultra HD, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support. And it ships with a redesigned Siri Remote.

Apple's new Apple TV 4K with redesigned Siri Remote
The new Apple TV also gets a brand-new Siri Remote.
Photo: Apple

Beat the preorder rush on Friday, April 30

Like all new Apple products, the new iMac, iPad Pro and Apple TV 4K are likely to sell quickly when preorders go live. Shipping times likely will start slipping fast. So you’ll want to be ready to make your purchase as soon as possible if you want to secure launch-day delivery.

All three devices — alongside new accessories like the updated iPad Pro Magic Keyboard — will be available to preorder starting at 5 a.m. PDT (8 a.m. EDT/1 p.m. BST) on Friday, April 30. They’re scheduled to launch in mid-May, Apple says, without offering a specific release date. (Update: The latest leaks make it look like the new Apple products will arrive on May 21.)

Use the Apple Store app

There are a couple of ways you can preorder. The quickest and easiest method is typically using the free Apple Store app for iPhone and iPad. In the app, you can look at the various devices and go through configuration options. When you find the exact model you want, tap the heart icon. This will save the device to your favorites list. You will find the list on the For You tab — just scroll down to Your favorites. When you revisit your favorites list on preorder morning, you can just tap the Select button and rush to the checkout.

If you’re using another device, such as a Mac or Windows PC, you can preorder through the Apple website. You can go through the same process — find the model you want, then click the heart icon to save it to your  favorites list. Once preorders open, click the shopping bag icon at the top of the page, then click Favorites to see the items you saved. Then just add them to your bag and breeze through the sale.

But there are a couple of other things you should check into before the final preorder crunch arrives.

Update your payment and shipping info

To ensure a seamless ordering process, you definitely want to make sure your payment details and personal information are up to date inside the Apple Store app or on your Apple account. Scrambling to edit this information as you place your order will obviously slow you down.

Got an Apple device to trade in?

If you plan to trade in your old Apple devices for a discount, you can start that process now. Just go to the “Get started” link in the app or on the Apple website. At the very least, you should have their serial numbers written down and ready to type in as soon as they’re needed. (Alternatively, you could sell your old Apple gear to the Cult of Macy Buyback program. We often offer more than Apple.)

If you want to go with Apple’s recycling program, you can find your devices’ serial numbers by following these steps:

On Mac

  1. Click the Apple logo in the menu bar.
  2. Click About This Mac.

On iPhone and iPad

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap General, then tap About.

On Apple TV

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select General, then select About.

Preorder your iMac, iPad Pro or Apple TV

You’re now ready to preorder your new iMac, iPad Pro or Apple TV on Friday morning. Set an alarm or reminder on your phone so you don’t forget to place your order on time — and good luck!

We originally published this story on April 28, 2021.