Macbook Air begins to ship; hard drive units expected Feb. 1st

Many readers have been writing in to say that they have received shipment notifications on their Macbook Air pre-orders; many are now just leaving overseas (China) fulfillment centers near the manufacturing plants, and it appears that solid state models are going to reach customers first — in the next few days.

Those who pre-ordered models with hard disk based storage have received updated shipment date estimates, or in a few cases, shipment notifications with an expected arrival time around the 1st of the month.

We will be covering developments very closely, and many “streaming articles” with continuous live updates will be posted over the coming days as the first MBA’s reach the United States.

If you are a Macbook Air early adopter, or just want to weigh in on the latest developments, don’t hesitate to email us with your thoughts:!

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  • Louis Schwitzer

    I disagree with your shipping comment. On another forum, the only shipping MBAs are base models 1.6 & 80HDD. My order was at 10:40AM PST on Jan 15, 2008 spoke for a 1.8 SSD unit with iWork preinstalled. The credit card had a full temporary charge for the MBA two days later that expired after three days. No other credit card activity from Apple since then and the Oder Status site still states “Not yet shipped” with a target “ship date by: Feb 6″ with “Delivery by: Feb 11″

  • Louis Schwitzer

    As of 9:46PM 30 Jan, the credit card showed a pre-authorization again for the 1.8 SSD MBA and ethernet dongle. Apple’s status was still not yet shipped.

  • Louis Schwitzer

    This Friday morning @ 9:45AM Arizona time, the Apple website states the MBA 1.8 SSD with iWork is now in “prepared to ship” status. The ethernet dongle was shipped on 30 Jan via FedEx 2nd day air from Memphis (No clue how or when it got there) and will arrive here this afternoon. I added a superdrive to the order yesterday and it will ship by 22 Feb to arrive by 26 February.

  • Louis Schwitzer

    ‘Tis 10:00PM Saturday night in Phoenix, Arizona. I went by two of the local Apple stores today and both had a few Macbook Air Superdrives for sale and a couple of the 45 watt MBA power bricks. In both stores, there were two MBA 1.6 HDD units and one MBA 1.8 SDD unit on the demo table. Neither store’s employees were sure when they would have MBAs of any configuration in stock. I took advantage of one store’s stock and purchased a MBA Superdrive. When I got home, I cancelled that item on my open order (which still had a 22 Feb ship date). Going to the FedEx website a few minutes ago, I saw my unit was now in the tender clutches of our favorite original overnight delivery service. It appears the unit was picked up around 6:10PM China time on 2 Feb, which was after the FedEx cutoff time. That seems to be the normal procedure over there as that is the pattern I have seen on multiple custom built laptops and and a custom built iMac.

    Tomorrow morning I should expect to see that the shipment progressed to Anchorage, AK and will be possibly enroute to Indianapolis to clear customs. I might even have a finite delivery date as well.

    I thought from my hands on experience of the speed of the 1.8 SSD that it was on a par or quicker than my 17″ MPPro @ 2.33Ghz, 3 Gb of ram and a 5400 rpm drive. Of course all one could do was load programs and webpages. The OS and support files left about 37.5Gb of free space on the SSD. That is enough room for a stripped down Vmware Fusion WinXP system for a couple of Garmin mapping programs and iWork. 08 which I have elected to be my office suite due to the bloated nature of Redmond’s products. The SSD unit will ride well in a motorcycle on cross country trips and the USB Verizon wireless will provide country wide connections where Wi-Fi or ethernet is missing. I am looking forward to this addition to my laptop inventory.

  • Louis Schwitzer

    Well it is about 8:30PM Sunday night in Phoenix and the Giants just won the Superbowl and FedEx has failed to report anything on their status page in the last twenty four hours. So the shipment could still be in China or in a warehouse in Anchorage,AK. Tomorrow morning should show some movement. I unpacked the MBA Super drive and ethernet dongle for entertainment. Whoppee!

  • Louis Schwitzer

    I just chatted (4:45PM on Monday 4 Feb) with the IP Direct Distribution service rep at Fed Ex. Due to the Chinese New Year, my shipment, along with countless others, have not even been placed through the process of exiting Chinese customs let alone been put on a plane for Anchorage. By my FedEx website status report and verified by the aforementioned service rep, there has been no shipping activity for over 48 hours. The skeleton China based ground crew is getting just a few items out each day.

    I could loose a week while the Chinese play. I may need to suggest that Apple extend their warranty on my equipment, which started on the invoice/shipment date. Nuts!

  • Louis Schwitzer

    Boy, was I angry and frustrated with Apple yesterday over this delivery situation. Fortunately, I called a local Phoenix Apple store last night (Monday 4 Feb around 5:15PM). They had one MBA left out of ten they received that day, a 1.8 SSD was still in stock. Since that was I had ordered, I snapped that unit right up and brought it home. I will have a laptop for my two week Mexican trip starting Saturday on my motorcycle.

    Still no activity on the FedEx website today until around 6:00PM Arizona time when I noticed the delivery date move forward from the 6th to the 11th. I think the original unit is still in China. Chinese New Year and bad weather stopped the FedEx show. There were no text updates showing the unit had passed through out going customs into FedEx loader”s hands.

    Anyway, after many transfers between FedEx and Apple personnel, we decided the unit will bounce next week after three delivery tries and be returned to Apple. They will attempt another shipment in 7 to 10 working days after that. I should be back in country by then.

    Have reloaded OS X twice due to a hiccup on the first reload. I omitted unnecessary printer drivers, languages, and optional software and gained about 8Gb of drive space, showing nearly 47Gb available for whatever. I tried using wireless on file transfer and the ethernet with the dongle was faster going through the same 801.n Airport Hub that was three feet away. The Superdrive was definitely the way to go to load programs. The unit feels snappy on doing installation work and moving files around from iDisk etc. Most of the time the fan is silent. I think whoever gets one will be pleased with all aspects of this computer keeping in mind all the constraints.

    I installed the Verizion USB WWAN modem drivers for a test drive. It worked fine for an internet connection. However, with no printer available because of only one USB port, the only choice is to print to a pdf file and print the document out later or on a remote printer. I small powered mobile laptop USB Hub might solve that problem.

    That’s my story to date.

  • Louis Schwitzer

    Life is full of surprises. I got up this morning with the memory of the nagging thought of 11 Feb delivery as the last word from Apple and the FedEx website site and FedEx employees. Where was the shipment and why were there no information updates on the FedEx site?

    I just checked FedEx. According to the FedEx website, Scotty beamed the unit directly to Phoenix:

    Estimated delivery Feb 11, 2008 by 4:30 PM

    Feb 6, 2008
    7:49 AM On FedEx vehicle for delivery TEMPE, AZ

    7:29 AM At local FedEx facility TEMPE, AZ

    5:37 AM At dest sort facility PHOENIX, AZ

    8:36 AM Int’l shipment release INDIANAPOLIS, IN

    Feb 2, 2008
    6:17 PM Left origin SHANGHAI CN

    6:10 PM Picked up SHANGHAI CN Package received after FedEx cutoff

    1:46 PM Package data transmitted to FedEx

    The Indianapolis time stamp of the Int’l release from Indianapolis must have happened with the unit in Phoenix (local time conversion was 6:36AM and it is at least a four hour flight from Indianapolis to Phoenix this time of year)?!

    Anyway, those with Feb 2 ship dates may get some good news today. Today is the original proposed FedEx delivery date the first time I checked with the FedEx website last Saturday.

    Unit arrived at the home at 4:09PM Friday 6 Feb. End of saga!