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

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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.

Josh Smith is Editor of GottaBeMobile and Notebooks.com. He's always looking for ways to help you get the most of your gear and loves to talk about tech on radio and TV. Josh uses an iOS and Android devices as well as Mac and Windows Computers. Josh Smith on Google+ Email: [email protected]

17 Comments

  1. Gary Gittelsohn

    09/07/2012 at 9:11 pm

    My wife and I each have an iPhone under an AT&T Family Plan. We’re off contract now and want to switch to Verizon with the release of the iPhone 5. How can I accomplish the change of service and port our mobile numbers during the iPhone 5 preorder?

    • Steven

      09/07/2012 at 9:20 pm

      The change will be easy, basically if you switch to a different provided than it would be the same a starting a new 2 year contract. You’ll get it for the same price as an upgrade.

    • Shawn

      09/08/2012 at 11:05 pm

      Gary, Having done this a lot in the past, I believe the best way is to preorder the two new phones through Verizon once they’re available to preorder, once you have your new devices in hand and activate them, then port your number over from Att. This will automatically cancel your Att phones and there’s no charge if you are out of contract, simply call Verizon and telling them you want to port over your old numbers from Att.

      • Gary Gittelsohn

        09/09/2012 at 4:02 am

        Shawn, thanks very much for the guidance … I’ll follow your advice. Again, many thanks.

        • mailon92

          09/11/2012 at 1:50 pm

          No offense, but Shawn’s advice will not work unless you are planning to buy an unlocked iPhone 5. You must have an account with Verizon already to be able to preorder the Verizon iPhone at the discounted price. To have an account, you must already have a phone with them. There are only two ways I can think of to switch from AT&T to Verizon: 1 – wait until preorders start, go to Verizon and order directly from them so they can setup the phone under your new account; 2 – find a friend with an old Verizon phone, setup an account with Verizon using that phone and then you will be able to preorder from Apple as soon as preorders start. Hope this helps! I’m trying to get out of AT&T too, but of course they can’t make it easy.

  2. Steven

    09/07/2012 at 9:19 pm

    The change will be easy, basically if you switch to a different provided than it would be the same a starting a new 2 year contract. You’ll get it for the same price as an upgrade.

  3. david

    09/08/2012 at 10:24 am

    if i sign a two year contract for at&t how much will that cost for iphone 5?

  4. Mike

    09/08/2012 at 12:31 pm

    Account password?.. Where do I get this?

  5. m

    09/09/2012 at 10:49 pm

    What about if your not with a carrier and you want to pre-order the iphone ? Who do I go about doing that? Is it possible ?

  6. Tim McVeety

    09/11/2012 at 2:05 pm

    If you preorder the phone can you pick it up at the apple or sprint store(which even i choose to prodder it to] can i pick it up there at midnight or does it have to be shipped to my house?

  7. Charlotte

    09/12/2012 at 11:12 am

    What are the probabilities of getting the iphone 5 through pre-order?

  8. Toby Willis

    09/12/2012 at 12:39 pm

    If I preorder on Friday when will I get it? On the 21st? Do I have to be home to sign for it?
    I’m hoping to get an answer from someone who’s preordered in the past from Apple.

    • Brandi

      09/13/2012 at 10:01 am

      Toby, I preordered two of the new iPads from Apple and received them on the day it became available in stores. I did have to sign for it, in fact I made sure someone was home to get them. I’m not sure if they leave the package at your door if you’re not there to sign, but I would be there to make sure you get it, and so its not stolen off your porch. I’m sure the iPhone 5 process will work the same way.

  9. Jose

    09/12/2012 at 2:11 pm

    Ok. So I’m in a family plan with my father on AT&T and we are eligible for an upgrade. I have been waiting on getting a phone for this same reason. How will I go about to go through with the preorder? Is it done on apple website. I have all the things you mentioned above for the preorder but I do not know my fathers at&t email or password for that matter. Is that needed? What are the steps I will need?

  10. maria

    09/13/2012 at 6:21 pm

    i have tmobile. my contract is up with them. I want to preorder 2 iphones5s. how do I do it? am i elgible?

  11. marc

    09/13/2012 at 8:16 pm

    i have 2 phones on at&t now and would like to buy the iphone 5 online via the apple store. am i able to choose verizon as my new carrier and port over my existing number? if yes, at what point does that porting process take place, after i receive the new phones and activate them? anyone gone through this with the iphone 4? thanks!

  12. Nitsa

    10/16/2012 at 2:52 am

    Can I use my mothers upgrade to get a iPhone 5 if I’m not due for one yet?

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