The iPhone 5s release date will likely bring joy and disappointment, for buyers who will need to get up very early and be ready buy the iPhone 5s as fast as they can click, in order to avoid waiting for the second wave of iPhone 5s shipments.
We already know that Apple is taking online iPhone 5s orders at Midnight Pacific / 3 AM Eastern on September 20th, and that shoppers who want to get their new iPhone without waiting for Fedex will need to be lined up for early store openings.
Apple Stores will open at 8 AM, two hours earlier than a normal shopping day, as will Verizon and many other carrier locations who are hoping for enough stock to meet the needs of customers who line up that morning.
We previously share an analyst report that Apple’s supplies of the iPhone 5s are limited due to “terrible” yields of the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and now that Apple took the first and only batch of iPhone 5s pre-orders it looks like supplies will be scarce on the iPhone 5s release date.
Read: Best iPhone 5S Cases
While Apple is not taking iPhone 5s pre-orders in the U.S., the company allowed Chinese customers to reserve an iPhone 5s for pickup at a local Apple Store. The reservations started last night, and according to accounts, the iPhone 5s units were not available within a few minutes of orders starting.
It is possible that Apple saved a good deal of iPhone 5s units for customers who show up to the Apple Store locations on release day, but even then the speed of this sellout is bad news for anyone hoping to buy an iPhone 5s on Friday. Apple’s iPhone sales typically sell out for release day delivery, but when that happens we are typically talking an order window of an hour or more, not minutes.
iPhone 5s release day in the U.S. could see similar speedy sellouts as consumers go online and line up for the iPhone 5s. We could see iPhone 5s online orders sell out faster than normal, if this initial sale is representative of Apple’s supply. Users should make sure they are awake at least 15 minutes before orders start, which is a middle of the night affair on the East coast, and they should also make sure they have their account info, primary account holder’s social security number, credit card and a backup credit card.
With supply expected to be very tight, it’s also a good idea to have a backup size, color or storage capacity in mind, if you absolutely must have an iPhone 5s on September 20th.
If you plan to wait in line for the iPhone 5s, plan to get there very early, likely several hours ahead of the 8 AM iPhone 5s release time. While many stores will offer the iPhone 5s, buyers will likely find shorter lines at less traveled carrier locations and non-flagship Apple Stores, though these locations will receive fewer iPhones to sell.
It’s no use calling your local Verizon, AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile locations to ask how many iPhone 5s units they have in stock for release day. Most locations will not receive their iPhone 5s release day units until Thursday and even some on Friday, and Apple will not let them tell customers how many they have in stock.
The iPhone 5s is Apple’s new iPhone with an improved camera, new gold color option, Touch ID sensor to unlock with a fingerprint and a 64 Bit processor.