Want to pick up the next iPhone? Here's how to do it.
Apple's new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus arrive on September 16, but you'll be able to pledge your money for one very soon: At 12:01 a.m. PT / 3:01 a.m. ET / 7:01 a.m UTC on Friday, September 9, the iPhone pre-order floodgates will open. Here are the various ways you can get a reservation in for the next iPhone.
First: Check your upgrade eligibility and pricing
Before you do anything else, you'll want to check the state of your current wireless contract, as that will dictate how much you'll pay for that shiny new iPhone upgrade. If you're on any of Apple's major partner carriers, you can pre-check your eligibility right on the company's website: It then stores this information for pre-ordering time.
If you don't have a carrier plan currently, or aren't sure what your various options are, I'd also advise reading our carrier guides:
Second: Should I have my iPhone mailed to me or pick it up in-store?
This largely depends on how quickly you want your iPhone, whether you want to drive anywhere, and whether your carrier plan's billing address matches your current address.
If you choose to have your iPhone pre-order mailed to you, you're at the whim of your delivery driver. If they regularly come at 8AM, you may get your iPhone earlier than the crowd; if your house or apartment doesn't usually get deliveries until 8PM, you might be left with a few hours of FOMO.
In addition, picking up in store is often the only way students or kids on their parents' plan can get their device on day one: Due to certain carrier rules, you may be required to ship the phone to the billing address on file—which may not be your current address.
The best way to order: The Apple Store app
If you want to avoid stalling pages—or, let's face it, bringing a laptop into your bedroom to pre-order—you can make your old iPhone be the cause of its eventual Gazelle-or-drawer-dom by ordering via the Apple Store app. This is my preferred method, in large part because the app is quick, easy, requires very little effort on the part of your sleepy self, and best of all—you can use Apple Pay.
It might be a little mean to make your old iPhone buy your new one, but hey—all's fair in love and pre-ordering.
- Apple Store app - Download now
If you want to use a computer: Apple.com
If you have a partner carrier plan in the U.S. or elsewhere in the world, you can pre-order on Apple.com. You should be able to get any of the carrier financing options through Apple, as well as Apple's own iPhone Upgrade Plan (more on that later).
- iPhone 7 - Pre-order here
If you need to: Go through your carrier
While I've personally had little luck going through AT&T's store in a timely manner, I know some people swear by carrier websites for fast pre-ordering. Most carriers will offer an online ordering process, including AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile, as well as international carriers.
Like the Apple Store app and Apple.com, many of the carriers are offering "pre-registration," which lets you pre-enter your carrier details to speed up the process of acquiring a new phone.
If all else fails: Check the other big box stores
If Apple and the carrier websites are failing—or you want to support big-box stores—you can pre-order your very own iPhone 7 or 7 Plus on one of the electronics stores of your choice. Off-hand, I know that Best Buy, Walmart, and Target will all be offering pre-order sales, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were other stores with the same options; if you want to try pre-ordering someplace I haven't listed, your best bet is to check their website first to make sure they're offering midnight sales.
I'm really psyched to order my own iPhone 7 Plus—though probably in Jet Black this time. We'll see. Are you picking up a new iPhone? Have other questions about the pre-order process? Let us know below.