With the iPhone 5S release date on the way, and no pre-order being offered by Apple, buyers are likely scrambling, trying to figure out how to best approach September 20th. Here, we offer some key things that iPhone 5S buyers need to consider as we approach September 20th.
After almost an entire year of rumors, Apple finally took the stage yesterday, just a week after the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 event, and announced not one, but two new iPhones. The iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C will be joining Apple’s iPhone lineup in just a few days, at which point they will push out the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4, last year’s iPhone and Apple’s iPhone from 2010.
As expected, the device both possess some attractive features. The iPhone 5C sports a plastic shell that comes in a host of colors, a solid 8MP camera, Apple’s Lightning dock standard, an A6 chip, iOS 7 and a starting price tag of $99.99 on-contact at four of the five largest carriers in the United States. A 32GB model will cost $199.99.
Apple’s iPhone 5S on the other hand will be the true successor to the iPhone 5 as it not only brings the same premium aluminum design, now in three colors, but it also will come in three storage sizes at three difference price points. Starting at $199.99, buyers can get a 16GB iPhone 5S that comes in gray, gold or white and offers a fingerprint reader for extra security, an upgraded 8MP camera, and a brand new A7 processor from Apple. It too will run Apple’s iOS 7 software.
Both devices are slated for a September 20th arrival at AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. We’ve broken down many of the key iPhone 5S release components ahead of time, including pre-order times and availability, but now, it’s time to break it down even further and take a look at the key things that iPhone 5S buyers need to know about the iPhone 5S’ release.
There Will Be Issues
From the looks of things, there won’t be an iPhone 5S pre-order, something that likely has confused people who are accustomed to ordering the device well ahead of time from the comfort of their home.
It’s not clear what made Apple do away with an iPhone 5S pre-order but it could be that it wanted to avoid pre-order issues. In the past, we’ve seen some nightmarish iPhone pre-orders (see: iPhone 5) and having two iPhones up for pre-order at the same time on the same day, well, that sounds like a recipe for disaster. The company could also be trying to drum up attention for the iPhone 5S on release day. Who knows.
What we do know is that the iPhone 5S is going to go on sale on September 20th, perhaps at midnight through Apple’s website and the various carrier websites. If it does go on sale at midnight, expect issues. Site slow down, up in the air confirmations, things of that nature. No iPhone ordering process is ever one hundred percent flawless.
If it does on sale later in the day, there will be issues too. Maybe not as many as a pre-order, but some buyers will run into them. And yes, there will be issues at retail stores as well, in the form of lines.
Because there is no pre-order, expect many people to try and test their luck at physical retail locations. While customer service reps at Apple Stores and carrier locations will be doing their best to accommodate, the shear amount of people buying the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S should produce some problems.
It’s also possible that we could see sell outs for these devices like we’ve see for iPhones in the past. Point is, know that a flawless smartphone launch is close to impossible and so iPhone 5S buyers looking to buy on day one need to practice patience, or, it could get ugly.
Ways to Avoid Lines
Speaking of those lines, there are going to be a couple of ways to avoid those lines and still get the iPhone 5S on September 20th. The first, be on right when the device goes on sale online. There might be some issues but most people who are on and prepared with their pertinent information typically get what they came looking for.
Ordering online will likely not produce an iPhone 5S on September 20th, Apple will need to ship it still, but it will be a way to skip the lines at Apple Stores and get a new iPhone relatively early.
Those who simply don’t want to order online, but still want to skip lines, will want to go off the beaten path to snag an iPhone 5S. In the past, we’ve been able to find locations like mall kiosks that have plenty of iPhone stock. Their stock will be limited but smaller places like that may be a way to avoid the lines.
We highly suggest calling ahead, a day or two before September 20th, to ask.
Retailers Are Coming
That said, we know that at least one major retailer not called Apple or AT&T or Sprint or T-Mobile or Verizon will be selling the iPhone 5S at some point. Earlier today, we told you, exclusively, that one large retailer, at least, has plans to sell the iPhone 5S in stores. It’s not clear if it will land on September 20th, but we wouldn’t doubt it.
So, know this. We could see some additional places offer the iPhone 5S on September 20th to help ease the strain, or, at the worst, we could see some retailers sprout stock after September 20th providing those who miss out on a device on September 20th, or simply choose to wait, a way to get the device reasonably soon.
Bring Extra Money
Know this. iPhone 5S buyers will want to bring some extra cash or set aside some money on a credit card if buying on release day. Here’s why.
Apple’s 16GB iPhone, the cheapest iPhone model, typically sells out first. We expect this to happen again on September 20th, meaning, buyers may only have the choice between 32GB and 64GB which are $100 and $200 more expensive up front.
We can’t say for sure that this will happen, but bringing a little extra money along, just in case is a smart idea.
This Isn’t Android
This is not an Android smartphone launch, this is an iPhone launch. Android devices are typically afforded heavy discounts on their release date but the same can’t be said for the iPhone. Typically, we see the iPhone stick to its price point throughout much of the year with retailers occasionally offering deals, particularly around holidays and four day weeks.
So, bargain hunters are going to want to temper their expectations. It’s possible that we could see an iPhone 5S deal or two come September 20th but at this point, we aren’t holding our breath. Expect to pay $199.99 for the 16GB, $299.99 for the 32GB and $399.99 for the 64GB model when buying the iPhone 5S on September 20th and in the weeks after.
iPhone 5 Deals
Those looking for a deal on September 20th likely won’t find one for the iPhone 5S but there will likely be plenty of iPhone 5 deals to be had. Already, we’re seeing carriers and retailers try to offload the iPhone 5 ahead of the iPhone 5S launch and things should get far more drastic once the iPhone 5S hits shelves.
With the iPhone 5 discontinued in favor of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, we don’t expect stock to hold out for much longer, but while it is available, it should be very affordable.
The iPhone 5 is still a very solid smartphone and it shares many features with the iPhone 5S. And like other iPhones, it will be updated with iOS updates for years to come, making it a nice option for those that don’t need to big time specifications of the iPhone 5S or don’t like the plastic of the iPhone 5C.
It’s an option and it will be available, for cheap, on September 20th and beyond.
iPhone 4S Still an Option
The iPhone 5 won’t be available at Apple Stores, but there will be a budget option not called iPhone 5C that will be available to those that find themselves less than thrilled with the iPhone 5S on release day.
Apple is keeping the iPhone 4S around as its free iPhone. It’s still a solid iPhone, it will get iOS 7 and should get iOS 8 as well, though it doesn’t have the same 4-inch display as Apple’s iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. It also doesn’t have LTE data speeds that come with Apple’s newer devices.
That said, those that are looking for an extremely cheap option on iPhone 5S release day will find the iPhone 4S still kicking, two years after it was first released to the public.