Customers who were among the first to have placed an order for the 27-inch iMac are now beginning to see their credit cards charged, and the order status change to “Preparing for Shipment”.
As noted by a number of MacRumors forum members…
…The new status indicates that the orders can no longer be changed or canceled and is the final stage before the machines are passed off to delivery companies.
The customers who have received updated order statuses report that the originally quoted delivery times have not been changed, (typically in the December 21 – 31 range), but there seems to be a possibility that the iMacs may arrive slightly ahead of that timeframe if they receive a timely shipment.
So far only U.S. customers have been reporting their machines are being prepared for shipment. A number of those seeing the order status change include those that built-to-order, indicating the custom orders may be arriving in the same timeframe as stock models.
Update: We’ve heard from a number of readers that Apple has now begin shipping the first 27-inch iMac orders.