The iPhone 6 release date starts at 8 AM local time on Friday September 19th, but if you want to get an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 plus you better get in line earlier than that.
If you pre-ordered with in-store pickup at an Apple Store you don’t need to line up that early, but you do need to make sure you have the right information and identification or you’ll head home disappointed.
This year we aren’t lining up for the iPhone 6 release thanks to a better iPhone 6 pre-order system and an iPhone 6 Plus shipping early, but for many shoppers the choice is sit out overnight or wait a month for a new iPhone.
Readers ask us, “What time do I need to stand in line for the iPhone 6 release?” and where the best places to stand in line for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are located.
We already shared where you can buy the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus on release day, but your best bet without a pre-order is to go to a carrier store. Apple Store iPhone 6 lines are already massive in many locations and some of the people there are just trying to make money selling the iPhone 6 on eBay or Craigslist.
Here is our best advice on when to get in line for the iPhone 6 release. The crowds will vary from place to place and when in doubt you should get in line earlier and not later. If you go to a smaller store and the line is not formed or very small you can chill in your car until more people arrive.
Apple Store iPhone 6 Line
If you want to buy an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus at an Apple Store and you don’t have a pre-order for in-store pickup you should probably stop reading this and go get in line.
At flagship Apple Stores the lines are already above 1,000 people according to a tweet from 6 PM Eastern. This shows a line stretching several city blocks.
— Bridget Carey (@BridgetCarey) September 19, 2014
At other Apple Store locations lines are also quite long. Apple Store employees will start to address the line at 5 AM local time. Soon after they will split the line into pre-orders and walk-ins, but that is still a lot of people.
People already waiting in line to buy an iPhone 6.. pic.twitter.com/7b88VgB5EI
— Marco Salvi (@marcosalvi) September 18, 2014
Go get in line at midnight or earlier if you are going to an Apple Store. If you chose in store pickup with a pre-order you can wait until the crowd dies down and stop in at 11 AM if you want.
Just make sure you bring two forms of photo ID including a driver’s license or State ID and a credit card, Passport, Military ID or Utility bill from the last 90 days. You’ll also need the email with your reservation barcode.
Waiting in Line at Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint
If you want to skip the long Apple Store iPhone 6 release date line up, you can go to a carrier store where lines are normally a little easier to handle.
You should look for a corporate store that you know is opening early to sell the iPhone 6. Don’t waste your time at a store that won’t sell the new iPhones tomorrow. This happened to a Gotta Be Mobile staff member last year and it was not a fun time.
For most carrier stores you can plan on getting in line at 4-5 AM local time. This year you may want to go out earlier since lines are forming faster and with more people.
If you want to buy the iPhone 6 Plus you may want to stand in line starting closer to midnight. Sources tell us supply of the iPhone 6 Plus is very low at carrier locations.
No matter where you line up for the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus you should take a friend, a chair, a blanket, snacks water and a backup battery for your iPhone. Basically you’re going camping on a sidewalk with a hundred other people.