Apple is planning a big iPhone 5s release date that will drive customers to the store instead of to a website to buy the iPhone 5s and it is preparing for a big turnout by opening early.
Apple announced that Apple Retail stores will open two hours early at 8 AM local time to start selling the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c on Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint.
There are no iPhone 5s pre-orders this year at Apple or officially at carrier websites which means anyone that wants to buy a new iPhone on the iPhone 5s release date will need to go to a store, and likely to wait in line.
Carriers are still mum about their plans, but it is a safe bet that corporate carrier locations and some independent resellers will open early for the iPhone 5s release date as well, but not before the 8 AM Apple Store opening.
Radio Shack and Best Buy are still silent on if they will sell the iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c in stores on the release date. In past years both retail giants offered the iPhone 5 on release day in 2012, though in limited quantities.
The iPhone 5s release date is September 20th, two days after the iOS 7 release to consumers. This is the first time in recent memory that Apple is not taking new iPhone pre-orders. This could be in response to the pre-order issues last year which brought several websites offline due to overwhelming demand.
It may also be part of Apple’s plan to sell more iPhones in Apple Stores and an easy way to cross promote the iPhone trade in program which the company just launched. In order to use the iPhone trade in program at Apple Stores, the customer must buy a new iPhone on a two-year contract, so it makes sense that Apple will push as many buyers into their stores as possible on September 20th.
Apple Store locations will have the best selection of iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c color and capacity choices, but there will be longer lines. Carrier stores will sell the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c on release day based on what we are hearing, but they may not have a lot of stock for certain colors and storage sizes.
Apple and carriers will take iPhone 5s orders online starting on September 20th with free delivery. It’s not clear how fast the delivery will be, but customers who are able to order first can likely expect an iPhone 5s delivery the following week.