How to best get an iPhone when they launch

I have a question: What’s the best way to get the iPhone I want tomorrow morning without a pre-order? I’m looking at the iPhone PM Natural 526GB. The two options I’ve seen are:

  1. Arrive early, but I’m not sure how early, and hope one is in stock.
  2. Try to order one via the app for store pickup in the morning.

For both of these options, what time would be best to try? I’m in Mountain Time near Denver.


On launch day, we would always have hundreds of additional “non-pre order” phones to sell when I worked at Apple.

Arriving at the shop around opening time is advised. Check to see if there is a non-pre-order line (pre-orderers will have their own line), and then ask an Apple employee manning the line whether they have the phone you want in stock.

In order to avoid customers waiting needlessly in line or coming into the store only to discover that the phone they wanted was out of stock, we used to go through the line and ask which phone people were planning to get before informing them if it was available.


Tomorrow at roughly 6 a.m. est, check the stock at your nearby retailers on the website to see whether there has been a restock.

It would be worthwhile to attempt, though obviously not assured, since you might be lucky enough to score a walk-up buy at a nearby store.

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@Ava When I called my neighborhood Apple Store, they informed me that they wouldn’t have any in stock until mid-October or early November, when all of the preorders were filled.

I recommend arriving early at the Apple store. Apple Stores typically open early on launch days, often around 8:00 AM local time. To secure a device without a pre-order, it’s advisable to arrive well before opening hours. Aim to be at the store at least 1-2 hours before opening, as there might already be a line forming.

Addison, I appreciate you giving these useful pointers for purchasing a new iPhone on Apple’s launch day! To increase your chances of getting the phone you want, arrive early and look for a non-pre-order line. It’s a good idea to enquire with an Apple staffer about stock availability before heading into the shop or standing in line.

Were these strategies successful in getting you the iPhone model you desired in the initial days of release? If you have any more advice or insights regarding managing Apple product releases, it would be greatly appreciated by those who are preparing to purchase new gadgets.