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7 Key Tips for iPhone 5s Buyers



The iPhone 5s has now been on shelves for several weeks, luring buyers in with its charms which include a new A7 processor, upgraded camera, new colors and a fingerprint reader for added security. With an end to the iPhone 5s supply issues in sight, we wanted to touch on some new useful tips for those that are still looking at Apple’s new iPhone.

Last month, Apple finally released its two new iPhones, the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, alongside its brand new operating system in iOS 7. The iPhone 5s represents the company’s premier iPhone option and unfortunately, it was the iPhone whose launch came with the most difficulties for buyers in the United States and elsewhere.

iPhone 5s Day One -  003

Apple did not offer an iPhone 5s pre-order this year, forcing buyers to wait up until midnight or head into physical retail locations on September 20th, the iPhone 5s release date. While many shoppers were able to get the device they wanted, Apple’s supply issues pushed the shipping times for many iPhone 5s options back several weeks.

More specifically, the gold iPhone 5s was sold out almost immediately through Apple and through carriers. Many buyers are still waiting for their device to arrive, thanks to these supply issues that afflicted the device’s launch.

Other have decided to wait for the supply issues to die down and many others are still on the fence about buying the iPhone 5s, due to the competitive nature of the smartphone market at the moment.

While we offered some initial tips for iPhone 5s buyers, shortly after the device’s release, the landscape has changed a bit and we wanted to deliver some new, fresh insight for those who are still in the hunt for a new iPhone.

Here are seven handy new tips for those who are still looking at buying the iPhone 5s, Apple’s brand new flagship smartphone.

How to Easily Check for Gold iPhone 5s

While the silver iPhone 5s is still a bit scarce, the gold iPhone 5s is basically non-existent at the moment as Apple and its partners very quickly ran out of their initial stock. Apple says that it will be getting more stock in October and its carrier and retail partners should start seeing an increase in stock once Apple Stores are relieved.

There are plenty of people still looking for the gold iPhone 5s. And fortunately, there are a few different ways of checking for not only gold iPhone 5s stock, but the stock for any of Apple’s iPhone 5s models.

Screenshot 2013-10-02 10.26.04

The first way is to check through Apple’s website. Another very easy way to check stock is by using a tool called iPhone Check which allows buyers in the United States a way to avoid calling into stores or taking a trip down to an Apple Store.

This web-based tool is very easy to use and from what we’ve seen so far, it’s extremely accurate. It will only deliver results for Apple Stores, not carriers or retailers, so those that wish to buy through those routes will still need to call ahead.

Stop Looking For Major Deals

iPhone 5s buyers who are holding out for major deals on the iPhone 5s, whether it’s Black Friday or otherwise, will want to stop and start tempering expectations. The iPhone is not an Android phone. What we mean by that is, it typically doesn’t fluctuate in price and it historically doesn’t see many details between its launch and the launch of its successor.

Usually, we’ll see the price drop right before Apple announces a new device but deals before that are few and far between. Last year, we didn’t see any major iPhone 5 deals for Black Friday either. We can’t predict the future but at this point, given the demand, it’s hard to think that there will be major discounts on Apple’s new device.

One iPhone 5s Deal

There is one “deal” for those that are looking to save a few bucks, however. Virgin Mobile, a prepaid carrier that is owned by Sprint, is offering the lowest iPhone 5s price that can be found at the moment though there are a few caveats.


Virgin Mobile’s iPhone 5s starts at $550 for the 16GB iPhone 5s. That’s a significant discount over Apple’s $650 price tag. However, what buyers need to keep in mind is that Virgin doesn’t offer true unlimited plans like Sprint, even though it uses Sprint’s 3G and 4G LTE networks. Sprint’s 4G LTE network is also much smaller than those of AT&T and Sprint. The carrier also doesn’t allow users to sign up with a contract.

So while the deal is nice, it may not be worth leaving a grandfathered unlimited plan or a large 4G LTE network.

Trade-In Prices Still Good

If a small pre-paid carrier doesn’t sound appealing, there are other ways to shave some of the price off of the iPhone 5s. One way is to trade-in an old device for cash that can be put towards the purchase of an iPhone 5s. For those that own an iPhone 5 or a high-end Android phone, trade-in prices are still pretty good, even after the release of the iPhone 5s.

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 1.22.12 PM

For example, through, Gazelle, we are able to trade-in a 32GB iPhone 5 on AT&T for $295, in good condition. In flawless condition, the company will pay out $305 for the device. Users can get these prices before October 31st.

Fortunately, there are other places to look too. NextWorth, Glyde, Amazon, GameStop and even Apple itself are all worth taking a look at for those that want to score a little extra cash to put towards an iPhone 5s purchase.

Think About an Official iPhone 5s Case

The iPhone 5s is a well-built phone but there are plenty of people that will want to outfit the device with a case, either to protect the anodized aluminum or for style points. While there are a ton of iPhone 5s case options, we highly recommend taking a look at the official iPhone 5s case from Apple, a case that even has case haters chirping good things.


Apple’s case doesn’t feel cheap, it adds good grip and best of all, it looks extremely sleek whilst paired with Apple’s new iPhone. It’s going to be a little expensive, it retails for $40, but for those that want peace of mind, we find the price to be worth it.

Don’t Rush

From what we’ve seen iPhone 5s shipping times aren’t getting any worse. The gold iPhone 5s is still slated to start shipping through Apple in October, carriers are no longer pushing their shipping dates back, and AT&T and Verizon are still offering vague October-November shipping dates. We expect those to improve once Apple Stores, both online and physical, start replenishing their stock.

Point is, buyers should not feel pressured to buy now as we don’t expect shipping times to get any worse than they already are. Those that do want to order now can do so knowing that their shipping times will likely fall sometime in the next few weeks.

On the Fence? Wait a Few Weeks

nexus-51-575x323In fact, we highly suggest waiting to buy the iPhone 5s. Google is expected to announce a brand new Nexus 5 smartphone in October, something that could appeal to a lot of prospective iPhone 5s buyers due to its combination of high-end hardware, Android 4.4 KitKat software and a cheap price tag that is said to be around half of the iPhone 5s’ $650 unlocked price.

We also expect to see some other devices trickle out soon including the HTC One max and we think that now, more than ever, is the best time to wait, if only for a few weeks, to see what companies have in store for the holidays.

For many, these launches will only serve to reinforce an iPhone 5s purchase. For others, it may mean dropping the iPhone 5s for another big name smartphone.



  1. ukandroid

    10/02/2013 at 4:56 pm

    I was going to get a 5S but have decided to bide my time and wait until the details of the Nexus 5 and other new phones from HTC etc. are known. Whilst the 5S is a decent phone, the fingerprint reader seems to be a costly gimmick that contributes to an overpriced device.

  2. Matt

    10/02/2013 at 11:53 pm

    If you haven’t tried the fingerprint reader, then don’t comment on the 5s.
    It’s no gimmick, it helps secure the phone and can be used for App store access / shopping / booking tickets etc.

  3. maninblack2013

    10/03/2013 at 1:29 pm

    No doubt it is still hard to find the specific model of iPhone 5S that you are looking for. I found a website that sources local box store’s inventory of iPhone 5s, and its pretty accurate for bestbuy’s inventory.

  4. Dave Quick

    10/03/2013 at 10:56 pm

    Umm – you wrote this Oct 2. Apple released the phone September 20th. THat’s 13 days. Your first line of the article is “The iPhone 5s has now been on shelves for several weeks, luring buyers …”

    Really? Several weeks? Sigh.

  5. G. Gold

    10/04/2013 at 9:57 am

    Many times in this article you used “that” instead of “who.” When referring to people, use “who.”

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