How to Make Sure You Get an iPhone 5 On Release Day
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How to Make Sure You Get an iPhone 5 On Release Day



Apple announced the iPhone 5 with a taller display, 4G LTE and a number of other small , but nice additions. Users that want to get their hands on the iPhone 5 on release date need to take action to make sure they aren’t left holding an iPhone 4S for another 3-4 weeks.

The iPhone 5 pre-order starts tonight at 12:01 AM Pacific and 3:01 AM Eastern. That’s a late night for iPhone 5 buyers, but it’s the best way to ensure an “out for delivery” notification on the iPhone 5 release date.

Users that sold their old iPhone to a trade in service for up to $500 need to ship the phone off in as little as 7 days with some services, which means getting an iPhone 5 on release date or going without an iPhone until stock improves.

iPhone 5 Preorder

iPhone 5 pre-orders start at 12:01AM Pacific, 3:01 AM Friday morning.

iPhone 5 Preorder

Apple, Sprint, Verizon and AT&T will all offer iPhone 5 pre-orders tonight at the same time. These pre-orders will likely go fast, and the websites will likely buckle under the load of iPhone 5 pre-orders.

Read: iPhone 5 Carrier Comparison AT&T vs. Sprint. Vs. Verizon

If you plan to pre-order the iPhone 5 tonight you will need to check your iPhone 5 upgrade eligibility. Apple typically doesn’t allow off contract purchases during the pre-order, but the pricing suggest this year might be different. when checking my iPhone 5 upgrade eligibility I see full price upgrade options.

iPhone 5 preorder price

Apple may allow off contract iPhone 5 pre-orders.

Make sure you have the number for the line you plan to upgrade, the last four digits of the primary account holder’s social security number and any account passwords, as well as a way to make a payment online.

Watch out, there are issues with AT&T’s online system so the iPhone eligibility may be incorrect. AT&T offers iPhone 5 early upgrades to some users.

Based on a poor experience ordering online during last year’s iPhone pre-order, one of our writers will be sleeping through the night and ordering in the morning. He may get lucky, but users that need to send an old phone off may want to set the alarm for 3 AM eastern tonight.

In Store on iPhone 5 Release Date

iPhone 5 Release date Line

Expect lines for the iPhone 5 release.

Buyers that miss or skip the iPhone 5 pre-order process can still go in store on September 21st when the iPhone 5 will go on sale at 8 AM at Apple Stores and at Sprint, Verizon and AT&T retail locations.

Expect long lines on iPhone 5 release day, especially at Apple Retail stores. While Apple Stores will likely receive the most iPhone 5 models to sell, users can opt for shorter lines at carrier stores.

If you plan to go to an Apple Store for the iPhone 5 release date, arrive early, dress in layers, bring a chair and a friend.

Read: Which iPhone 5 Size is Right for Me?

The best bet based on our past experience is to find an overlooked corporate store. During the iPhone 4S launch, GottaBeMobile Publisher Xavier Lanier walked right past a line at the Apple store to a Verizon kiosk in the same mall with plenty of iPhones in stock.

I plan to check in with my local kiosk and corporate store next week, where there is usually a list of users interested in the new iPhone. This isn’t a pre-order, but in the past the store has called to let me know I should be there at opening if they expect to have one in stock.

Best Buy did not announce plans, but features an iPhone 5 promo on the home page, so we expect they will have some iPhone 5 units on hand on September 21st.

How Long is the Wait After Pre-orders?

iPHone Sold OutOnce Apple’s initial supply of iPhone 5 phones available for pre-order are purchased, usually within 24 hours, the wait jumps to 1-2 weeks for online deliveries. This means users that don’t get an iPhone 5 on launch will be looking at a delivery between September 28th and October 5th. With past Apple launches demand has pushed deliveries to 2-3 weeks in some cases.

In the past Apple Stores, Best Buy, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon received additional iPhone deliveries throughout the weeks following the initial launch, but finding the iPhone 5 in stock will remain a challenge for at least a month.

Bottom line, if you need an iPhone 5 on launch day, stay up to pre-order or plan to head to a local store early on September 21st.



  1. Edward Gill

    09/13/2012 at 10:31 am

    ipHone dost impress much floks

  2. matthew wells

    09/13/2012 at 11:41 am

    me talking with apple rep about iphone preorder not coming on launch day


    Hey there, and welcome to the Apple Online Store! How’s your day going for you?

    great, if i preorder my iphone 5 right when its first availible and say im one of the first ppl preordering….is it safe to say my new iphone will arrive in mail on launch day the 21st

    Happy to explain.

    With that, if you preorder, it should ship out to you on the 21st.

    so explain that….shipping on launch day doesnt mean arriving on launch day….so if i preorder im not going to reviece on launch day? if it ships on the 21st i wont get it till probably monday or tuesday since its a weekend right? what would be the point of preordering in that case?

    I understand.

    or will it be “delivered” on the 21st in most cases like in previous years…..last year i preordered the iphone 4s and it shipped a day or two b4 launch day so i recieved it on launch day….will it be the same this year

    They would allow you to preorder because if it launches on the 21st for you, it would still take a couple of weeks to ship out to you.

    They are telling us that it will ship out to you on the 21st if you preorder.

    so that means pretty much that i will NOT recieve it on launch day…well thank you, def not preordering now

    I am sorry about that, I wish I were able to physically send it to you myself because I would.

    Preordering guarantees that you get your iPhone and that we have one here for you and that it would ship out to you before the ordering customers who purchase on the launch day.

    preording is a joke if you dont get it on launch day like every other year

    Are you still here with me?

    I mean, to be honest, I would feel the same way, so I see where you are coming from.

    i thank you for being honest

    I just have no way here online to change that for you, but I would be happy to get you the number to our Customer Service to see if they would be able to work something out for you if you woul dlike.


    You are very welcome.

    thats cool, i spoke to them yesturday aksing same question and they didnt have a clue either


    I wish they would have some more options there for you as well.

    well theres only two options, preorder or wait in store….but in every iphone preorder of years past, when u were one of the first batch of preorders u ware pretty much garanteed to recieve the phone on launch day ( which mind is the whole reason and point to ppl preordering) but it seems for some reasion this year it is not like that

    Yeah, I mean they may have just said it wrong to us and will send it out sooner.

    We can hope so.

    now im just deciding if i want to camp my local att or apple store next friday cause def not going to preorder

    Yeah, I know what you mean.

    yea ur probably right, by when theu said “ship out” on the 21st they maybe meant delivered on the 21st but i just dont know if i want to take that chance on not

    Yeah, I know what you mean.

    I would recommend to chat back in in the morning and just double check on that.

    They may let us know they were wrong or something.

    welll by morning it will be too late to preorder

    You can also try around midnight as well.

    i need to order right when it opens up to be garanteed for delevery on launch day last year….if u waited till morning on preorder day last year to preorder it was like a month after laucnh b4 u recieved it


    That is insane

    yea and that was for the 4s that wasnt too much of a external change…with the major changes to the phone this year, im sure it will be ever worse

    Yeah, no doubt!

    well i was going to preorder however after speaking with u i have changed my mind and hopefully it will work out :/

    I hope they meant that it would be delivered on the 21st for you.

    i would hope so for other ppl cause youre phones going to be going nuts with a lot of other angry ppl that do not kno this if not

    i however am def not preordering now!


    I understand.

    ok im done with my rant, u can take this convo to ur next meeting lol jk…laters

    Haha, no worries. You are most welcome! Thank you for chatting in with me today, it was a pleasure chatting with you and I hope you have a fantastic day!

    • Shut up

      09/14/2012 at 2:53 am

      Shut the eff up and stop complaining. Also, you have the spelling capabilities of a 6 year old. Thanks and have a wonderful day!

      • mattew

        09/14/2012 at 3:33 am

        fuck off loser, mind ya business. and if you must know, i was at work as is now so was and am now typing real fast cause its not a work site dickface…..if you would like to spell check and put in word doc and add a title go right ahead :/, its a comment from a online chat, not a college essay…..ppl got the point, so fuck off

    • JP

      09/20/2012 at 3:54 pm

      You wasted his time and your time. You could have read online that they usually ship overnight and you would have received it on the 21st or 22nd. If he would have told you that he knew that you would be calling/chatting again wasting someone else’s time.

  3. Gary

    09/13/2012 at 11:51 am

    Very helpful. I went to Apples site per your instructions and low and behold I was not eligible until 2014. Turns out they had taken away my eligibility because of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus I got from Best Buy last month and returned after 2 days because it just flat didn’t work. A few minutes on the phone with Verizon took care of that and a 2nd eligibility check showed me good to go.

  4. diptup

    09/13/2012 at 11:13 pm

    Im planning to buy an unlocked iphone5. will it be available tonight?

  5. Lauren

    09/14/2012 at 7:33 am

    Let me tell you all that I purchased my preorder on the release date and I will not be getting my iPhone until Oct 5. First time I’ve ever preordered and I have to say its kind of a joke

    • Matthew

      09/14/2012 at 11:30 am

      Yes I stood up late last night and preordered within first few mims of being available. The first batch of phones sold out within 1 hour (the batch that would be delivered on the 21st). Luckily I got In the first batch, but after 1 hr of preorders the delivery date changed from the 21st to estimated 2 weeks

  6. John B

    09/14/2012 at 8:29 am

    I pre-ordered 2 last night within 15 minutes of them being available. I checked this morning on the status order and it still says scheduled for delivery on September 21s, while if you try to pre-order now it’s pushed out 2-3 weeks for est. delivery. My first pre-order too.

  7. Dylan

    09/14/2012 at 11:02 am

    I ordered at 7:30am cst and it shows it shipping out the 21st with it arriving on the 22nd. That works for me. These kids act like they cant have a cell phone for a couple days. Grow up and be patient.

  8. Caesar

    09/18/2012 at 2:33 pm

    I ordered a couple of iPhones from AT&T. New lines – not an upgrade. Unfortunately, when I called today to chase up I was told that the additional checks that need to be done for a new service mean the order takes longer to hit the system, so I’m at the back of the line, behind all the upgraders, and it will be 14-21 business days. I cancelled, and I think I’ll go to the Verizon store on my street on Friday morning.

    Re: Bob Dylan’s comment above, about kids who can’t have a phone for a couple of days… yeah how about try adults who receive business calls and will lose income if they’re in limbo between providers?

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