Last year, iPhone 4S pre-orders sold out in 22 hours before shipping dates slipped to 2-3 weeks. This year iPhone 5 pre-orders sold out in 1 hour before shipping moved to 2-3 weeks. Apple is going to sell iPhone 5s faster, and in more volume, than they’ve ever sold anything.
If you didn’t manage to secure a pre-order in time and are facing the prospect of standing in line at the Apple Store to get an iPhone 5 on launch day, you’re probably wondering how early you need to wake up and get in line. There’s not a clear formula on how it all works, and only Apple knows for sure how much stock they have, but the experience of the last five iPhone launches have given us some important information.
You’re Guaranteed To Get An iPhone If You Arrive Before 4AM.
Getting in line four hours early at your local Apple Store will guarantee you an iPhone in most major cities. The people that get to the store around or before 3-4am are the hardcore Apple fans that just love doing silly things like waiting in line for an iPhone. You can join that group and be one of the first persons in line to make sure you get an iPhone.
You’ll Probably Get An iPhone If You Arrive Around 6AM
Arrive two hours early and you’ll probably get an iPhone 5. Apple Stores will open at 8am tomorrow morning, and most people will be arriving in line between 6-7:30am. Apple always has plenty of stock to accomodate people that get there 2 hours early, you’ll just have to wait in line for an hour or two while everyone in front of you purchases their iPhone.
All Bets Are Off In The Afternoon
Show up in the mid-afternoon and you’ll be taking a chance at not getting an iPhone. Last year Apple had iPhones in stock even after the lines were gone. You could walk into the store at 1PM and buy an iPhone without having to wait at all. Because Apple sold 2 million pre-orders and the shipping dates keep slipping, we’re not too confident that situation will happen again this year. It might be that consumers have decided waiting in line is ridiculous, so everyone pre-orders now. Or maybe there’s just a crazy amount of demand for this iPhone and Apple might sell out by the afternoon.
For those Apple fans living in a major city, you can even hire a TaskRabbit to wait in line for you so you don’t have to worry about this. But if all else fails you still have a lot of options and can just order the iPhone 5 online and wait a couple weeks.