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iPhone 6 preorders kick off at Apple Store online at midnight

Advanced purchases for the new, bigger-screen smartphones through Apple's digital store will begin at the exact moment around the globe and at the same time as the carriers -- 12 a.m. PT Friday.

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will be available for preorder at Apple's online store at midnight on Friday. Screenshot by Shara Tibken/CNET

Wireless carriers aren't the only place kicking off iPhone 6 and 6 Plus preorders at midnight tonight.

You'll also be able to preorder the new iPhones in Apple's online store starting at 12 a.m. PT on Friday. That means for those of you on the East Coast, you'll be able to place your orders at 3 a.m. ET; Midwesterners can start shopping at 2 a.m. CT; and so on and so forth around the globe. (You can find out what time preorders will start in your time zone by clicking here.)

On its store site, Apple noted preorders begin September 12, but it didn't specify what time they would hit. In the past, Apple has started online advance ordering at midnight, and it will continue that trend this year.

The timing coincides with the preorder launch at Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular, among other sellers. You also can place your order at a physical Apple retail store beginning at 8 a.m. local time on Friday. And several retailers also will get in on the act Friday in their physical stores, including RadioShack, Sam's Club, Target, and Walmart. Best Buy will offer online preorders for only the Sprint version of the iPhone 6 but will open up preorders for other devices in its physical stores on Friday.

For more on when and where you can get the iPhone, check out CNET's handy primer.

Apple on Tuesday showed off its newest iPhones, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. Both devices are a big jump over the 4-inch screen found in last year's iPhone 5S. In addition to being slimmer and lighter, both models also include a 64-bit A8 processor with improved graphics, an improved 8-megapixel rear camera, improved battery life, and an NFC chip that allows you to use the phone to make payments.

The iPhone 6 goes on sale September 19 in 115 countries, starting at $199 with for a version with 16 gigabytes of storage space. The iPhone 6 Plus starts at $299 for its 16-gigabyte version, $100 more. In the UK, an unlocked iPhone 6 will start at £539, and the iPhone 6 Plus will start at £619.

The iPhone 6 has the potential to be the biggest launch in Apple's 38-year history. Apple reportedly has asked manufacturing partners to produce about 70 million to 80 million units of its larger screen iPhones by December 30, which is about 30 percent to 40 percent more iPhones than it ordered for its initial run of last year's iPhone 5S and 5C.

Along with the new phones, Apple on Tuesday unveiled its first wearable, the Apple Watch , which won't go on sale until early 2015. Apple CEO Tim Cook called the watch a "breakthrough" product that works as a health and fitness device, a walkie-talkie, an Apple TV remote control, and a notification device, among other things. Cook also introduced Apple Pay, a new system that allows users to buy items by tapping their iPhones to sales terminals and by using their fingerprint for quick online purchases.

The Apple Watch "is the next chapter in Apple's history," Cook said Tuesday to the audience of more than 2,000 people. "The foundation of Apple is built on the best computers in the world with the Macintosh, the best tablets in the world with iPad , the best phones in the world with iPhone, and it was made even better today."

Updated at 4:05 p.m. PT to include information about Best Buy offering the Sprint version online.