It’s no secret that the new iPhone 5s is hard to find right now. The phone quickly sold out on launch day and Apple’s website is currently listing a general ship date of sometime this month, which could mean several weeks before you’ll get yours. However, several physical Apple Store locations have them in stock, and there’s a nifty online tool that you can use to see what store has what models in stock.
The tool is called iPhone Check, and it essentially scrapes through the Apple Store website constantly to see which stores have which models in stock. You can search a store by zip code and it’ll bring up a list of the closest Apple Stores near you. Next, you’ll select the color and the carrier you want and hit Submit.
In a matter of seconds, you’ll get a list of what iPhone models are in stock according to storage size. If there’s a red X, then that particular model isn’t in stock, but if it’s a green checkmark, that means that store has it in stock and ready for purchase.
Once you know that your nearby Apple Store has an iPhone 5s in stock, you can visit Apple’s website and pick the model that you want that’s available at the store. Then, instead of checking out and buying the phone online, you’ll click on Check Availability under Available for Pickup in the right-hand side bar. Search for your store and it’ll say whether or not that model is in stock. From there, you can reserve the unit and order it online, and then pick it up later at the physical Apple Store location.
For me, I was able to see that a few locations in my state had some of the space gray iPhone 5s models in stock, and confirming on Apple’s website, they did indeed. And since Apple brought back the in-store pickup option, I can order it online and pick it up at the store later that day if I wanted to.
Sadly, the tool is US only and it doesn’t factor in carrier stores or other retailers — just Apple Stores. It’s also not said how up-to-date it is, but checking online with your local store can do the trick as well. This is essentially a super easy way to check availability before you dig in and make some phone calls to nearby stores.