Apple Thursday started shipping its first-ever wireless storage appliance, dubbed Time Capsule, the company confirmed.
Preordered units are shipping, said Apple spokesman Anuj Nayar, and customers should receive them in the next few days. However, Apple's online store is now showing a five- to seven-day shipping delay for new Time Capsule orders.
When CEO Steve Jobs introduced Time Capsule on January 15 at Macworld, he said the appliance would ship in February; the company met Jobs' deadline with just a day to spare.
Time Capsule is essentially an AirPort Extreme wireless base station that contains a hard disk drive and works with Leopard's Time Machine backup application. With the software and new hardware, users can back up and restore data over a wireless network. Apple has pitched Time Capsule to laptop users in particular, who have had to jack into a cabled external hard drive for Time Machine backups.
Apple sells the appliance in two storage sizes: a 500GB unit that lists for US$299, and a 1TB model that retails for US$499.