Th Apple iPhone 5S release date is getting closer and the company is heavily rumored to be releasing the device on September 20th shortly after a September 10th launch event. While nothing is set in stone, consumers in the United States should start setting some expectations about the approaching iPhone 5S U.S. release date.
Nothing is set in stone just yet in regard to the iPhone 5S release date but we’ve seen all of the tell tale signs. First, AllThingsD, widely believed to be a mouthpiece for Apple, reported that the iPhone 5S would launch on September 10th. This was in turn backed up by The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple who gave the date his well known ‘Yep’ all but confirming the date.
For its part, Apple has yet to send out any invitations even as the day gets closer. We should see invitations for a September 10th launch event at some point soon, likely within the month of August.
It’s at that event that we’ll see Apple show off the iPhone 5S, the iPhone 5 successor, and likely the iPhone 5C as well. The iPhone 5C is expected to be a cheaper iPhone model aimed at taking on budget Android devices. The spotlight will of course be on the iPhone 5S and its hardware, software, pricing, carriers and release date.
In particular, shoppers in the United States are keen on finding out exactly when Apple will be releasing the iPhone 5S. Typically, the company obliges with a concrete release date for its iPhone and thus, we expect to find out if September 20th is indeed the iPhone 5S’ release date.
Ahead of the announcement, we’ve taken a look at what to expect from the iPhone 5S release date both on a broad scale and on a much smaller one. We’ve taken a look at what to expect, specifically, from the iPhone 5S U.S. release date and now, it’s time to take a look at what not to expect when the new iPhone touches down in the United States later this year.
Small, Pre-Paid Carriers on Day One
The first thing that buyers in the United States should not expect from the iPhone 5S release date is for it to land on one day across all carriers. Yes, as we’ve pointed out, the device should land on one day for the five major carriers including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon. Those looking at smaller carriers and pre-paid carriers will most likely have to wait though.
Last year, we saw smaller carriers like C Spire Wireless get the iPhone 5 though, it got the device a week after its initial release date in the U.S. Like C Spire, Cricket Wireless got the iPhone 5 on September 28th as well. Don’t expect anything to change with this. Expect the major carriers to get the initial release date with smaller carriers like C Spire and Cricket, getting a secondary release date.
We should also see the iPhone 5S arrive on tiny regional carriers in the United States, but they should get the device even later than the likes of C Spire and Cricket.
Unlocked iPhone 5S
Last year, the iPhone 5 was released on September 21st in six different flavors. However, the release did not see the arrival of a factory unlocked version of the iPhone 5. Apple did not tag it with a specific release date, leaving prospective buyers wondering when they might be able to get their hands on one.
Instead of a short wait, buyers had to wait until November 29th before the unlocked iPhone 5 went on sale on the Apple Store. While no official reason was given, supply issues likely played a role as Apple wanted to ensure that non-unlocked models were in supply before it put the unlocked model on sale.
Given the history and given the rumors of supply shortages with the iPhone 5S, consumers should not expect the unlocked iPhone 5S to go on sale on day one. It may not take as long as it did last year but don’t expect it to hit shelves alongside the other devices on day one.
Gold iPhone 5S Exclusive
Samsung loves to release different colors for its flagship devices. The Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 2 in particular come in a number of unique hues. Problem is, Samsung limits many of those colors to certain regions and worse, it often limits colors to specific carriers. For instance, Sprint has an exclusive on a purple Galaxy S4 in the U.S.
Apple is rumored to be releasing a new iPhone 5S color with the usual black and white options. This new gold iPhone 5S appears to be all but confirmed for arrival and when it does arrive, expect it to be available in the United States across carriers. Apple doesn’t play the same exclusive game that Samsung does so don’t expect to see the gold iPhone 5S become available on AT&T or Verizon only.
All iPhone 5S Options At Retailers
Many consumers will be heading down to a retailer either on release day or sometime after it to pick up an iPhone 5S. And while retailers should have some stock available, don’t expect them to have everything.
Most retailers will likely carry the iPhone 5S for major carriers like AT&T, Sprint and Verizon but we could see retailers opt not to carry the T-Mobile iPhone 5S and the U.S. Cellular iPhone 5S.
For instance, RadioShack doesn’t have the T-Mobile iPhone 5 on sale. Best Buy doesn’t have the T-Mobile HTC One for sale. Neither of them has any U.S. Cellular devices on sale.
So don’t expect to walk into a big retailer like Best Buy or RadioShack and have all iPhone 5S options available. Perhaps once the smoke has settled we’ll see them offer every combination under the sun but on release day, things will be limited.
Easy to Find 16GB Black iPhone 5S
Do not expect the black 16GB iPhone 5S to be easy to find. Last year, Verizon told us that their most popular device on release day was the 16GB black iPhone 5. At several locations, we found the 16GB iPhone 5 either sold out or in scarce supply. In our experience, the black model was the most difficult to find.
This year, the gold iPhone 5S could take some of the load off of the black iPhone though we still expect the cheapest variant of the iPhone 5S, in black, to be in scarce supply at retailers.
So for those that have their sights set on the black 16GB iPhone 5S, pre-order early, or get to the store early on release day as it’s typically the model that sells out first.
Don’t expect there to be lines everywhere. Yes, there will be lines at Apple Stores and corporate stores of carriers, those are the places they typically show on television, there won’t be lines everywhere.
In the past, we’ve been able to walk into malls, even malls with Apple Stores, and find a carrier kiosk selling iPhone models. We did this very thing last year with the iPhone 5. While people were fighting in line at the Apple Store, a Verizon mall kiosk did not have a huge line and we were able to get our iPhone 5 and get out of their quickly.
Lack of Accessory Options
Do not expect carriers to be lacking when it comes to iPhone 5S accessories on release day. Across the board, we should see AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon all have ample supply of iPhone 5S accessories. There may be a few exclusives packed in there but don’t expect the options to be drastically different from one another.
Apple Stores should also be chock full of iPhone 5S accessories on day one with sales representatives pushing any number of them onto iPhone 5S shoppers.