How to Make Sure You’re Ready for the iPhone 5 Preorder

The iPhone 5 release date is set for September 21st, and Apple may offer an iPhone 5 pre-order on September 12th right after the announcement.

Even if the iPhone 5 preorder doesn’t happen until later that week, now’s a good time to make sure you’re ready for the iPhone 5 preorder process.

The biggest thing to check is when your lines are available for an upgrade, but it’s also important to have all the right information on hand to preorder the phone.

Check iPhone 5 Upgrade Eligibility

The first stop to check upgrade eligibility is Verizon, AT&T and Sprint. Each carrier offers different upgrade paths, but logging in to your account or calling customer service is the fastest way to see when you can upgrade. Apple offers a handy iPhone upgrade eligibility check, but you’ll need the last four of the primary account holder’s SSN.

iPhone upgrade eligibility

Check iPhone 5 upgrade eligibility.


AT&T will provide iPhone 5 upgrade eligibility on the account page, and offers a special early iPhone upgrade discount that will cut the price of an iPhone 5 for customers with upgrade dates later this year or even into 2013. The AT&T deal is not found on other carriers, and is basically the iPhone 5 price plus a $250 early upgrade fee. That’s expensive, but still much cheaper than the full off contract iPhone 5 will be.

Verizon users can login to their account to check their iPhone 5 upgrade eligibility, and the dates on all of their lines. Sadly Verizon no longer offer special upgrade deals like annual upgrades or New Every Two discounts. Verizon will let users upgrade a month ahead of the date listed on their account, and sometimes users can sweet talk a slightly earlier upgrade, but don’t count on it.

Sprint’s online system and chat customer service options are the best ways to check iPhone 5 upgrade eligibility. Unfortunately Sprint’s chat customer service tells GottaBeMobile that the date shown is the date users can upgrade on, there are no early upgrade options.

Users can also borrow an upgrade from a family line to upgrade during the iPhone 5 preorder process, but they will need to switch numbers when the phone arrives.

We don’t expect sweeping changes, but there is always a chance carriers will bump up release dates slightly after the iPhone 5 announcement on September 12th.

What You’ll Need to Preorder

For the iPhone 5 preorder make sure you have the following information at hand. Preordering the iPhone 5 is the best way top make sure you have a new iPhone on release day, but preorders go fast.

If you are not the primary account holder, you’ll need to know;

  • Number to upgrade
  • Account Password
  • Last four of the Primary Account holder’s SSN
  • A means of paying online

The lack of the primary account holder’s SSN is the most likely to trip up users who want to jump on the iPhone 5 preorder as soon as it is available.

Expect some issues during the iPhone 5 preorder process. When Apple offered the new iPad preorder in March 2012, the site was crushed under heavy demand, and the same issues popped up last fall when the iPhone 4s launched.

Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 5 with a 4-inch widescreen display and 4G LTE connectivity on September 12th. The new iPhone is said to sport a new two-tone design with a metal back and a thinner, taller body.

Read our iPhone 5 page for the latest details.