Some lucky iPhone 5s buyers can pre-order the iPhone 5s for in store pickup on September 20th, and you can too — assuming you live in Hong Kong or are willing to fly halfway around the world to make sure you have an iPhone 5s on September 20th.
Apple switched up the game with the iPhone 5s asking users to come in to an Apple Store on September 20th at 8 AM instead of pre-ordering an iPhone 5s a week early and waiting for the Fedex delivery to come. This angered and confused some customers who waited up late last night to pre-order the iPhone 5s.
As it turns out Apple is offering an iPhone 5s pre-order of sorts in China. While it is not a pre-order that delivers an iPhone 5s to the buyer’s door, it is much easier for someone in Hong Kong to buy the iPhone 5s for release date pickup than it is for a U.S. shopper.
MacTrast spotted the iPhone 5s pre-order for in store pickup on the Apple China webpage which invites shoppers to make an online reservation to pick up the iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c on September 20th in store at a local Apple Store. The image above shows the message.
On the U.S. Apple Store retail webpage users do not see an invitation to make a reservation for the iPhone 5s. Instead they simply learn that the Apple Stores will open two hours early on September 20th to sell the iPhone 5s to a long line of shoppers.
At this point it is likely too late for Apple to announce a similar program in the U.S. and it looks like this may be part of Apple’s continued plans to court Chinese consumers with the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.
It is inevitable that Apple will open up online iPhone 5s reservations in the U.S. at some point, but in 2012 it a similar offer did not start until four days after the iPhone 5 release date.
Apple is reportedly handling this launch in a manner that will drive more iPhone buyers to an Apple Store where they can experience buying a device directly from Apple and get to experience the other Apple products that owning an iPhone can lead to. While this strategy makes sense, an iPhone 5s release is a bad time to do it as the store is typically overcrowded, shoppers are cranky and there is no focus on the other Apple products on sale.
Target is taking iPhone 5s reservations, but they are first come first serve, with only a 16GB option available and no off contract sales.