In case you haven’t already seen, Apple has unveiled the iPhone 5C and 5S, which will both hit stores and be available online on September 20. Despite having the same release date, there’s a big difference between how the two models will be sold that a lot of fellow bloggers missed right after Apple’s event ended. While the 5C will be available for preorder on September 13, there is no mention of the iPhone 5S. That’s not an accident.
This is a curious move. There have been several occasions in the past when Apple did not offer preorders for iPhones, leading to launch day lines and jammed phone lines at stores. However, it’s a little odd for an “S” release. The iPhone 5S share so many similarities with the iPhone 5, that you’d think Apple would have plenty of stock on hand. The 3GS and 4GS were both plentiful on launch day, as I recall.
However, the lack of a preorder for the iPhone 5S may line up with earlier rumors that warned us to expect shortages at launch. This is most likely due to low early yields in and stocks of the new model’s fingerprint sensor. Apple has had these kinds of yield issues before with the Retina screens in the iPhone 4 and iPad 3, the first to include them. So, this is nothing new. It just feels that way since we have two iPhone models now, one of which will be available in higher quantities and the other not.
Making the preorder available for the iPhone 5C is actually a smart move. Being that it is a new model with good specs and that is available in several colors, there is a good chance that many users on the fence will decide to go with the 5C to avoid hassles. However, for those of you like me, who will be wanting a 5S on launch day, prepare yourself. If there isn’t enough stock for Apple to do a preorder and have enough for launch day sales, then plan accordingly.
1. If at all possible, get to an Apple Store. They always have the most plentiful stock, especially of the less popular sizes and colors.
2. If retail is your only choice, be there well before the store opens, because many carrier stores and smaller retailers like Radio Shack will have only a handful of 5Ss in stock.
3. Best Buy is probably your best retail option, as they usually get a more iOS devices per store than other outlets. Carrier stores are probably the second best option.
4. If you are going to place an online order on 9/20, be sure to get up and be ready right when the Apple Store first accepts orders. This has been 12 AM Pacific for the last few launches, which REALLY sucks for those on the east coast. However, if you don’t want to wait 2 weeks to a month for your 5S, be up and ready at 3AM Eastern…if Apple follows their normal procedure.
So, just a word of warning. If you really want an iPhone 5S, be ready to jump as soon as they are available on September 20. If you are still undecided, and lining up super early isn’t your style, there’s always the iPhone 5C online on September 13. You’ll still want to get up, but at least you won’t have to leave the house.
We’ll be sure to let you know what time preorders will begin on both days, so stay tuned.