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Apple Store goes down in preparation for iPad Air 2 preorders

This likely means that Apple is preparing its back-end technology to handle the preorder payload.

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Apple's entire iPad line announced by SVP Phil Schiller. Tim Stevens/CNET

Update, 8:33 a.m. PT: Apple's online store is back up and iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 preorders are now available. You can read about that here.

Apple's online marketplace is down, ostensibly in preparation for iPad Air 2 preorders.

At a little before 4:30 a.m. PT on Friday, Apple's online store stopped selling merchandise and offered its standard message: "We'll be back. We're busy updating the Apple Store for you and will be back soon." The message scrolls through several languages.

Apple unveiled the iPad Air 2 on Thursday. The company's latest tablet comes with a 9.7-inch Retina display, Touch ID support, a thinner body than its predecessors, and the option of 16GB, 64GB or 128GB of storage. Apple is again setting the starting price the iPad Air 2 at $499, though the company adds $130 to each version for LTE support.

Apple's event on Thursday was the second in as many months and was a bit toned-down compared with September's unveiling of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch. In addition to the iPad Air 2, Apple announced on Thursday the latest-generation iPad Mini, an iOS 8 update, and OS X Yosemite. Apple also touted the success of its iPhone 6 sales, but failed to provide any hard data, which surprised many who have watched the company share such data numerous times in the past.

Apple was similarly guarded in its announcement of launch details for the iPad Air 2. The company said that preorders would begin today on the device, but only said the launch will happen "sometime next week." Before the Apple Store went down this morning, it displayed similar wording for the iPad Air 2's launch.

This story has been updated several times.