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Apple iPhone Preorders – Everything You Need to Know

It used to be that, following an Apple release, the local news would be full of b roll footage of Apple fans camped out in front of their local Apple Store. The line would span a block or two and be riddled with tents and eager campers waiting to be one of the first to own the latest Apple gadget, be it a computer, tablet, or phone.

While lines at the Apple Store aren’t unheard of, they’re not as common as they once were. Apple has fine-tuned its production abilities, meaning that they’re manufacturing more of their product than ever before. They can more-or-less meet demand, even at a product launch. At most, you may wait a few weeks for the latest iPhone. And instead of pitching a tent on a cement sidewalk, Apple has a robust and intuitive preordering process that has completely removed the need for an overnight stay under the stars and over the asphalt.

If you’re a diehard Apple fan, preordering the newest generation iPhone is typically all you need to do to have it in your hands on launch day. While going to your Apple store to pick up an iPhone you ordered a month ago isn’t as fun as a communal urban camp out, it’ll certainly get you that iPhone before anyone else.

Why Would You Preorder an iPhone?

iPhone Preorder Guide

Preordering an iPhone can be done from your computer, tablet, or even your iPhone. Apple makes the process simple and straightforward. They know exactly how much stock they’ll have on launch day and tell you ahead of time when exactly you can pick your iPhone up. If you preorder quickly, you’ll more than likely be able to come into your nearest Apple Store to pick up the newest iPhone right at launch day.

Even if Apple can’t keep up with demand, you’re still going to be next in line for the subsequent batch of iPhones. While you may not get a launch day iPhone, you’ll have one in your hands in a week or two, while every other consumer might have a month or more wait (or a long line at the store with uncertain availability) if they’re trying to buy an iPhone without preordering.

All in all, it’s best to preorder your iPhone if you’re a diehard Apple fan and want to make sure you’re first in line for a phone. Sometimes it’s hard to predict iPhone sales. If Apple decides to release a flagship iPhone, then it may sell out faster than an in-between release. Whatever the case is, preordering an iPhone locks your place in the queue so you’re not scrambling to find one amid a production shortage.

When Can You Preorder an iPhone?

Preorder iPhone Guide

Apple typically allows you to pre-order their newest line of iPhones a few days after their keynote announcement. Apple keynotes vary in their timing, but iPhone-related keynotes have always been in the first half of September. The company will also “tease” their keynote a week before the day. If you see that Apple is about to give a keynote in September, then a few daysafter their conference will more than likely be the day you can order the new iPhone.

As the team of engineers at Apple unveil its new iPhone, the Apple retail website will be shut down temporarily. Once the keynote finishes, Apple will put the website back up, chock full of new information about their new lines of phones. This is your time to scope out the new iPhone and figure out which one is best suited for your needs.

Preordering Your iPhone Through Apple

  • Go to Apple.com
  • Click on the iPhone tab at the top of the navigation
  • Compare the new iPhones and click to order—Apple will then give you a pre-order option

While these directions may change, depending on Apple’s website layout for their newest line of iPhone (they’re always changing their website design), the navigation follows a universal logic that doesn’t change dramatically.

Upon preordering your iPhone, you’ll see the availability of that particular iPhone. Apple will be transparent about when you can pick your iPhone up. If you’re quick, you’ll likely be able to pick up your new iPhone the day it launches (usually late September). If you’ve delayed at all in preordering your iPhone, then you may need to wait a few days, or over a week depending on how popular the phone is.

What Are My Preordering Options?

iPhone Preorder Option

Apple.com isn’t the only way to preorder an iPhone. You can certainly walk into a brick-and-mortar Apple store. They’ll have the same insight into availability and timing that the website has. More than likely, an Apple Sales Associate will pull up the website on a display computer and go through the process with you.

However, while Apple is the manufacturer of the iPhone, they’re not the only retailer. You can preorder your iPhone from other stores as well. In times of low availability, sometimes alternative options will surprise you with stock when Apple is sold out, so it’s worth trying multiple sources if you’re struggling to get your hands on a new iPhone.

Big Box Retailers

Think of places like Target, Best Buy, and Walmart. These retailers will often have a preorder option or the newest iPhone on or shortly after the preorder day designated by Apple. Apple loves to give themselves the greatest leverage, so you may find that big-box retailers are lacking in stock or aren’t allowing preorders as early as Apple, but it’s worth checking on them all to see what your options are.

Pricing will not vary, but keep in mind that normal store discounts apply. For instance, if you have a Target RedCard, then you’ll get 5% off the purchase of an iPhone. It may not be much, but it’s technically cheaper than if you were going through Apple!

Phone Carriers

The other place to check for preorder availability is through your phone carrier. The big 4 wireless companies will typically have a stock of the newest iPhone and allow preordering. Sometimes, this route will get you an iPhone when they’re sold out elsewhere.

One thing to consider, when preordering an iPhone, is that your phone carrier will most likely offer you trade-in value on your old iPhone, which will make the cost of your new purchase a little lower. However, ensure you shop around, as your old iPhone might be worth more elsewhere.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Preordering

Preordering an iPhone isn’t usually about gaining an advantage or overcoming a disadvantage. It’s about being an excited consumer and supporting a company you love by being one of the first consumers to own their newest product. However, there are a few points to consider, as a little bit of shrewdness is never a bad thing!

Advantages to Preordering an iPhone

Exclusivity – you’ll be one of the first to own the latest and greatest iPhone.

Avoid the line – whether you’re anti-camping or simply don’t have the time to sit in a line, preordering an iPhone ensures you completely circumvent the line. Shortly after launch, Apple Stores tend to be busy, so preordering your iPhone allows you to skip most of that mess.

Show Support – you’ve been a diehard Apple fan since the Lisa, so preordering your iPhone supports Apple by giving them money to create bigger and better things.

Disadvantages to Preordering an iPhone

You’re First – being one of the first consumers to own a device means, love or hate it, you are part of the product testing. Launch day iPhones may have some as-of-yet unseen issue that comes to light after they’ve gone out to the world.

Impulse Control – preordering something is similar to triggering that part of our brains that loves the dopamine rush of an impulse buy. Except, you’re not grabbing a pack of gum at the checkout counter. For those of us with poor impulse control, a preorder can be a rash decision.

Asking ‘What If’ – Apple typically doesn’t launch just one iPhone. There’s usually two or more to choose from. Preordering your iPhone means you’re taking a chance on an iPhone no one around you can vouch for. Seeing someone with small hands struggle with the newest iPhone Plus model can give us valuable insight into the iPhone we should buy.

Make the Most Out of Your iPhone Preorder

iPhone Preorder Guide

You’ve done the math and weighed your options. Heck, you’ve already clicked the preorder button. The only thing left to do is wait for the day your iPhone arrives so you can proudly show it off to your friends. However, preordering is just getting you halfway—what do you do with your old iPhone?

Trade-in Your Old iPhone

Don’t let your old iPhone sit around and collect dust. Leverage that phone for cash, which you can put towards the purchase of your new iPhone. If you have a newer generation iPhone that’s in good condition, then you have over $100 in easy cash in your hands.

Check out our buyback program to see what your iPhone is worth. We’d suggest you even get an instant quote before you preorder your new iPhone. The money you get back from your old iPhone might let you boost your iPhone storage, or get the premium option. Whatever you do, don’t sell yourself short by not selling your old iPhone!