When iPhone 8, Apple Watch Series 3, and Apple TV 4K pre-orders began at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time last Friday, dozens of Apple engineers were assembled in a so-called “war room” to ensure the process went smoothly.
For around three hours, these engineers sat in front of at least 10 TVs forming a larger display, which appears to show the system status of pre-orders in launch countries. One engineer had a map of the world open on his iMac.
“Over half of the orders that night will come in through the Apple Store app,” said Apple’s retail chief Angela Ahrendts. “We turn the whole world on at once. I think you saw the map with everything lighting up all over the world.”
BuzzFeed reporter Nicole Nguyen then visited UPS’s Worldport shipping facility in Louisville, Kentucky, a major hub for Apple products.
Nguyen said the volume of Apple products is so large that UPS has to set aside time to sort just those deliveries. Apple’s launch day haul took up an entire large room, and the products later traveled along miles of conveyor belts.
UPS delivers some of the orders to Apple retail stores, while others arrive directly at customers’ doorsteps.
Apple retail stores usually attract long queues of customers on launch days, but the crowds have been smaller for today’s iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus launch. Many customers are likely waiting for the iPhone X, which launches November 3.