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Verizon iPhone 5s: 3 Things Buyers Need to Know for Release Day



If you plan to buy the Verizon iPhone 5s on release day, you need to be away of several key policies in place at Verizon that could impact your shopping experience and slow down the process if you aren’t prepared.

Verizon stores are opening early for the iPhone 5s release date at 8 AM local time, so shoppers will likely start lining up early in the morning, or late tonight depending on the location and proximity to an Apple Store.

Last year Verizon instituted several policies regarding iPhone upgrades and iPhones purchased off contract which came as a surprise to some users we stood in line with. We’ve checked and Verizon is keeping the same policies and procedures in place for the iPhone 5s.

Here’s what buyers need to know about buying the new iPhone 5s on release day, especially if they have unlimited data or plan to buy off contract.

Read: iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c Buyers Guide: The 4 C’s of iPhone Shopping

Here's what buyers need to know before heading to Verizon on the iPone 5s release date.

Here’s what buyers need to know before heading to Verizon on the iPone 5s release date.

iPhones Need to Be Activated

Even if you are buying an iPhone 5s off contract you can’t leave the store without activating it. This is to discourage fraud and to help prevent iPhone 5s stock from dwindling any faster due to people who buy the iPhone 5s and then resell it overseas or even on eBay.

What this means for Verizon iPhone 5s buyers is that if you plan to buy an iPhone on your account and to pick one up at full price for a friend who had to work, you won’t be able to leave the store unless it is activated on their account.

This has some people heading to an Apple Store instead, as it is possible to buy an iPhone 5s off contract and leave without it being activated.

No Stealing Upgrades for Unlimited Data

If you are waiting in line, a Verizon manager will kindly explain to all shoppers that they cannot perform an ESN change in store that day. What this means is, shoppers who upgrade to an iPhone 5s on a line without unlimited data cannot then change it to a number with unlimited data.

For users who are upgrading a phone without unlimited data to the iPhone 5s with the plan to switch the iPhone 5s to that line, do not bring this up in store. You will need to buy it like normal and then perform the swap on your own later, either by swapping SIM cards or using the online tool depending on the other phone involved.

Users who have unlimited data will lose it if they buy the iPhone 5s (or any phone) at the contract price.

Double Check the Trade in Value

In our experience Verizon will offer to buy your old iPhone or Android device and apply the credit towards your iPhone 5s. Typically carrier trade in prices are not so great, but Verizon’s online trade in calculator shows prices $50 higher than we’ve seen at some competitors.

Find out what they will offer you then double check the iPhone 5 trade-in price at Gazelle and Nextworth before agreeing to the trade. You can probably find out what Verizon will offer while you are waiting in line, or at least check the other values.

Read: 16 GB iPhone 5s v. 32 GB iPhone 5c: $199 iPhone Battle Royal

From the sounds of it the iPhone 5s release date will come with limited stock for the iPhone 5s, especially in gold and white colors.



  1. Michael M.

    09/19/2013 at 7:56 am

    “No Stealing Upgrades for Unlimited Data” Do you work for Verizon? They are upgrades on my account, shouldn’t I be able to use them as I choose?

  2. Michelle Long

    09/19/2013 at 12:13 pm

    I disagree about being able to buy a new phone and pay full price. My iPhone 5 was stolen by a pickpocket about 3 weeks ago. I’m not eligible for an upgrade nor is any one else on our family plan. I’ve been told that I cannot buy an iPhone off contract – at full price from Verizon, Best Buy or even Apple (Apple will sell off contract / unlocked phones for AT&T & T Mobile) on Friday. They will only sell the new iPhone 5c or 5s to people eligible for an upgrade or signing a new contract! That SUCKS for me!

    • Jon

      09/19/2013 at 2:27 pm

      Why would they do that? They get more upfront money selling off contract lol I called Verizon and Apple to verify and both said that is untrue.

      • Michelle Long

        09/19/2013 at 2:37 pm

        I couldn’t believe it either! However, I’ve spent hours talking with people about it. They do it because they make more money from people signing a 2 year contract. I spoke with the manager in a corporate Verizon store and an authorized dealer in person. I called Apple (check their website and you’ll see their unlocked phones do not include Verizon or Sprint). Also, check Best Buy’s website — new iPhones are listed but none without a contract.

        Finally I spoke with someone from Verizon’s Office of the President and they confirmed I couldn’t get a new phone on launch day. Since I’ve been a long term customer they did give me an iPhone 5 at upgrade pricing even though I wasn’t eligible for a year. So, at least I will have a new phone tomorrow and I didn’t have to pay full retail.

      • Michelle Long

        09/19/2013 at 2:40 pm

        The Apple website has changed — but check here — you’ll see you can only order with no contract for TMobile:

        • Michelle Long

          09/20/2013 at 10:14 am

          I checked the Verizon website and it would have allowed me to buy a new iPhone off contract – at full price. They said they wouldn’t allow it in the store though.

          Doesn’t matter — my new iPhone 5 will be here today! :)

  3. Jean Pierre

    09/20/2013 at 4:16 am

    please i want to ask … what about t-mobile’s policies? is it the same?can you post some of these policies if available?would it be like verizon not being able to leave the store without activating? can i buy more than a one off-contract iPhone5S?it is available today right? or till october like online ordering? please answer all these questions abecause i’m living abroad and have my relative living in the U.S and interested in buying more than one piece for my self and my wife … thanks :)

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