Nov 7, 2012

How I Got the iPhone 5 Without Waiting Four Weeks

The iPhone 5 has been very popular since it first came out. If you didn't preorder one, it is difficult to get one without waiting the three to four weeks Apple says on its web site that it will take before it ships. If you are really lucky you might find one in an Apple Store or one of the carrier stores. However, they've been trickling in and disappearing pretty quick.

I was able to upgrade from my iPhone 4 to an iPhone 5 recently once I learned a trick. Part of this trick came from information an Apple Store employee told me. Part of the trick, I learned by trial and error. I'm going to share this particular trick with you and it might work for you also, though there are no guarantees.

An Apple Store employee mentioned a few important things to me:
  1. The iPhones are trickling in to the brick-and-mortar Apple Stores, a few at a time.
  2. You can buy an iPhone from the Apple Store online for pick up the next day.
  3. The Apple Stores update their inventories at 10 PM local time.
  4. The Apple Store app for the iPhone or iPad seems to be faster than the web site for ordering.
Armed with this information, I tried for several nights in a row to order an iPhone 5. I tried to add the iPhone to the cart right at 10 PM, then check out, picking my local store. No luck. I added my local Apple Store as my favorite store in the app so that it would be picked automatically when I added to the cart. Still no luck. Then I tried to add the iPhone to my cart before 10 PM and then hit the check-out button at 10 PM. Again, no luck. It seemed I wasn't getting my iPhone ordered fast enough. So I decided to try something else.

I've noticed that in the camera app, the camera doesn't take a picture until you release the button. I thought that maybe the other apps, like the Apple Store app, might work the same way. I played around with the Apple Store app and realized that the Check Out button doesn't actually submit the request to check out to Apple's servers until the button is released. The night I tried this, I picked my iPhone 5, added it to my cart, and at 9:59 PM held down the Check Out button. As soon as my iPhone showed that the time was 10:00 PM, I released the button. A few seconds later, I was asked for my Apple ID password. It had worked. I followed the rest of the steps it requested and was able to pick up my new iPhone 5 the next day.

Since then, I discovered that a nearby AT&T store had a few iPhone 5s in the 32 GB and 64 GB models. The AT&T store representative said that the 16 GB iPhone 5s were the quickest to go. So if the above trick doesn't work for you, you might try calling around to non-Apple stores.

Were you able to get an iPhone 5 without preordering? If so, how did you get it?

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