Where to Buy an iPhone 5 on Its Release Date

On Friday, September 21st, Apple will release its new iPhone, the iPhone 5. Those who pre-ordered early enough will receive the device on their doorsteps while those who didn’t place an order early, but still want an iPhone 5 on release day, will have to brave the lines, elements and uncertainty of physical retail stores to get one. Here, we outline just where and when you’ll be able to pick up an iPhone 5 on its release date.

Last Friday, the iPhone 5 went up for pre-order and within a few hours, the device was completely sold out at Apple, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon. Many of those who pre-ordered last are now facing lengthy shipping times and some customers on AT&T, who were originally told that they would receive the iPhone 5 on September 21st, might not see it arrive until October.

Read: My iPhone 5 Pre-Order Nightmare Came True.

Many of those unfortunate souls will likely join scores of others this Friday outside physical retail locations in an attempt to get the iPhone 5 on its release date.


To help better prepare you for the battle that awaits, we have detailed the many places that you can try your luck on Friday morning.

Apple Stores

Seeing as how the iPhone 5 is an Apple product, it will be available in the many Apple retail locations scattered throughout the United States on Friday morning.

Apple Stores aren’t everywhere which means that many of you might have to make a bit of a drive to get in line. If you’re unsure about whether there is an Apple retail location near you, you can head to Apple’s website to check.

Expect long lines at Apple Stores.

Make sure you arrive early because the lines at many of these stores will be long. In fact, there are people that are already camped out in front of some of them as we speak.

Apple retail locations will open their doors at 8AM local time but we suggest getting there at least an hour before the doors open if you want to have even the slightest chance of getting one before their stock is depleted.


Best Buy

While Best But normally has iPhone stock available on iPhone release day, the retailer has been unclear just how much iPhone 5 stock, if any, it will have available on iPhone 5 release day.

Read: Best Buy iPhone 5 Pre-Order Isn’t Worth It.

Best Buy is probably not your best bet.

The retailer has quietly been taking pre-orders for the device since last Friday but one store told us that they aren’t even sure that they’ll be getting any stock to sell on launch day.

We’re hearing that this might even be the case for those that pre-ordered through the company as well.

So, at this point, it’s probably best that you turn your attention elsewhere. For those that have no other option, Best Buy’s will open at their regularly scheduled time on Friday. You can find your local Best Buy location by heading to the retailer’s website.

Carrier Stores/Kiosks

Maybe your best bet for an iPhone 5 on launch day are the carrier stores and kiosks that dot the American landscape. AT&T, Sprint and Verizon, who all will carry the iPhone 5, have many retail stores.

Now, we’re not saying there won’t be loads of people at these stores, but they will at least have stock and they are also, again, found in lots of locations.

You can find the nearest locations near you by using the links below:

One of the better kept secrets though are the smaller carrier-branded kiosks that are found in malls throughout the U.S. While most will line up outside the Apple store in the local mall, some of the kiosks may have iPhone 5 models in stock, ready for purchase. AT&T, Sprint and Verizon have these set up in some places so it would be smart to call your local mall ahead of time to confirm if there is one near you.


Like Best Buy, RadioShack stores have been taking pre-orders since last Friday. That means that stock will be in short supply for those that didn’t place a pre-order as pre-orderers will be picking up their new devices at retail locations.

Read: TaskRabbit Will Stand in Line for Your iPhone 5 for $55.

RadioShack says that it will offer the device at its 4,700 locations across the United States but at this point, customers should expect stock to be extremely low or non-existent at all 4,700 of these locations.

Find your nearest location using RadioShack’s website.


Last but not least, Walmart will have the iPhone 5 available on release day though we caution customers about it as well. The retailer has been taking pre-orders for the iPhone 5 since last Friday and that means that stock could be thin come this Friday.

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Walmart’s doors will open at 8AM local time so it would be wise to get their early to see what kind of stock they have.

To find your nearest location, you can head to Walmart’s website.


  1. Stupid, why didn’t Apple plan accordingly? Simply supply and demand. Why not make a ton of phones and ship them out in masses, or just make a ton for the online orders? Seems like poor management, especially for its 5th installment of the phone. Like did they NOT see or expect this demand coming?

    • exactly…supply and demand. If there is a ton of them available, it isn’t as ‘cool’ to get it the day of. Don’t speak of things unless you understand. You act like because they aren’t available, people won’t buy them. That’s completely incorrect – shipping is up to 3-4 weeks on apple’s site because people will WAIT for it.

    • Judging by your use of “like” to start a sentence, I don’t think you understand supply and demand. They are trying to control the market, not flood the market.

    • THE REASON THEY DO THAT IS BECUASE THEY WANT YOU TO WAIT………THEY WAIT FOR THE ORDERS KEEP ON GOING UNTIL THEY REACH THE AMOUNT IN 2 TO 3 WEEKS……AND PEOPLE WANT IT BEFORE THE TIME……so they want people to crack and buy the 64 gb iphone instead of 16…………..and apple has 2 ship the phone to more then a hundred apple stores or 1000s idk how many stores there are…but ya thats how they get rich………….but thats why the galaxy is getting popular then apple cuz they dont make you wait so long

  2. This reporter is based on mere heresay, they are basing their info on second-hand sources. This is poor reporting. Based on Apple’s history with retailers, most are likely to have a stock on hand for it’s early preordered customers, while most expect it to take time to come in. Best Buy, Radio Shack and Wal-Mart all took preorders, but Sprint stores sold their devices online. In fact Sprint isn’t even allowed to take preorders in its stores, but some are doing so against the will of the company anyway. I know this is happening in Toledo. Stock will also be more readily available to those who actually did preorder at stores, and took the time to get off the couch and computer. Only a mere 40 to 50 on preorder day ordered iPhones at San Fan’s Best Buy location.

  3. Radio Shack will not be handing out iPhone 5 to pre-order people tomorrow. Watch the fireworks as they only will sell phones to people walking in off the street. They are delaying delivery for one week to the pre-order people.

    • The RadioShack I went to said I’d have to come in at the end of the day to see if any phones are still left over from the preorders

    • thats a lie the pre orders from the 4s were only giving to the ppl who pre orderd first then after any phones that came in were sole to the public
      guy told me today if you dident pre order last friday then ur screwed only preorders getting taking care of 1st before any customer that walks in even thinks of getting the 5

  4. I preordered at Best Buy a few minutes after they opened Friday, I was the 1st preorder at my store. Just got an email that it’ll be about 28 days until I get my phone, so that’s my best buy experience.

  5. Pre-ordered mine through RadioShack. Same store I’ve done all my cell needs since the bag phone. Big RadioShack screwed all customers as did Apple. No phone yesterday or today. All that pre order signing BS and down payment. Screw them. Seriously thinking of ending my apple experience. Get rid of iPhone and iPad, move on to something else. This store only pre ordered 4 phones and the couldn’t do that.

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