No pre-orders outside Apple Store?

iPhone 4

TiPb among others are getting word that, contrary to previous reports, non-Apple Store retail locations like Best Buy and Radio Shack may not be taking pre-orders starting tomorrow.

Look, these things are usually chaos personified, with execs jostling back and forth with Apple, upper and middle management never properly communicating with employees in the stores and on the floor, and everyone and their CSR hearing conflicting stories that change by the minute.

Bottom line, we won't know anything for sure until tomorrow. If you're desperate to pre-order tomorrow, Apple Online will surely be open to take your business. Everything else is a crapshoot. Bide your time and take your chances.

If anyone does manage to score a non-Apple pre-order, let us -- and each other -- know in the comments.

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

No pre-orders outside Apple Store?

52 Comments

I talked to radio shack today, manager said uhhh we were already taking orders today, but we stopped and now were not sure how were handling this. He said he was informed that the preoreder for the iphone wouldnt be handled like other preoreders normally are?

I just called radioshack and was told they would be taking preorders. I would have to put a $50 deposit on a radioshack gift card for the preorder and it would be available to do at 10 am. I've never preordered before and I was wondering how dependable is apple at delivering the iPhone to your house on launch day?

I was planing on using Apple.com anyways. As far as them delivering I'm pretty sure you will get it on launch day. I know a lot of people pre-ordered the iPad and they got them on launch day at their homes. I trust Apple!

This is going to be crazy tomorrow. I got an email confirmation from my ATT Business Care Rep that he has added me to the Pre-Order list. He hasn't responded to my email about when I will receive the unit though. So I have it ordered thru ATT just not sure when I will actually get it in the mail

Radioshack at the time is not taking preorders. They are taking names and numbers and are definately launching on the 24th, but will guarantee any customer an iPhone before launch. That is the news as of this afternoon delivered down to managers.

I talked to Best Buy on the phone today and they said they were taking pre orders tomorrow. It will cost $50 but they will give you a $50 giftcard that you can use towards the purchase on the 24th.

I spoke to AT&T their online chat service and i was told that Apple.com would start to take pre-orders at midnight tonight. i spoke to Apple.com on their chat service and was told that they were unable to give me any information other than the pre-orders would be taken some time tomorrow. i will be refreshing the Apple website like crazy around 12, hopefully we'll get "Down for Construction" message soon... we'll see what happens.

@John - Remember that Apple uses Pacific time, so midnight might not be the same in your location. I hope they start taking preorders for both colors at least by 10am tomorrow.

Why would you buy from anyone BUT apple. Or even AT&T since they are trained to sell the device and properly handle your account for it. I work for the company and we have just received word that NO ONE besides us and apple are pre-ordering.

I have my day all set tomorrow... workout 8-10, breakfast 10:15-10:30, shower 10:30-10:45, pick up business cards at 11, pre-order iPhone at 11:15 and take mom to therapy (physical) at 11:45. Radio Shack had better be taking pre-orders! I'm hitting up the corporate Twitter right now!

I wouldn't do it through Radio Shack, if I thought they were going to run short on iPhones. I guarantee you one thing if they are running short, Apple is going to take care of Apple Stores first (like they have done in the past, AT&T didn't get many iPhones compared to Apple Stores). I do think more people will upgrade this year compared to last year, but I doubt they run short on release day.

What's up with Radio Shack "The Shack" anyway, I think they are like getting groceries at Walgreen's. Overpriced on most products.

The Best Buy employee at my local store told me they would be taking pre-orders starting tomorrow morning.

No the device doesn't need to be paid in full. When preordering from apple your card holds your order until launch day. If you pick up in the store, you will pay after the upgrade process, if you have it shipped to your home/work you will be charged launch day or date it is shipped.

From my past experience I believe with business accounts, you have to go through that department with your employer, but I am not 100% sure. As your employer first.

I spoke to an att rep at my local best buy on Sunday. They said they would be taking $50 pre-orders starting Tuesday, during regular BB hours.

I'm able to pre-order now on apple.com. Just put my order in for a white 32gb, everyone hurry before there servers overload!!!

@ missa. Guess you don't know how to read. So let me be clear. NO ONE BUT APPLE AND AT&T WILL DO PRE-ORDERS TOMORROW. This was implemented by apple earlier this afternoon. Therefore, if you do not order from apple or AT&T tomorrow you are not guaranteed anything launch day. If all pre-orders outweigh the number of available units available be prepared to wait for a while. Oh. And did you say your "AT&T rep at best buy"? Damn. Some people are stupid.

AT&T doesn't have them online yet. Apple store is down. It's 11 pm Mountain time....OH BABY I WANNA MIDNIGHT RELEASE!!!

@ Church Burner
x2. Talk about some of the most arrogant, completely-oblivious-to-their-religion people ever.

Quit being stupid guys. It's an iPhone blog. Go to some Bill Mahr site for religion bashing.
As for me and my house, we serve the iPhone 4.

lol.... no. That was pretty corny but I will give u a pass because its late. So, to the fake Steve Jobs, that was really funny and you should entertain us more while we wait for your site to go back up.

AT&T says "Pre-order Now" but when you click it, it only lists the old phones, no iPhone 4, so it can't be much longer now.

I just called my Best Buy at 10:04 AM EST and they are doing preorders. That is here in jacksonville, FL.

Have been trying to order at apple.com for the last hour to replace my current 3G and it's not working after entering all of my personal data. I keep getting an error and it sends me to the first order page.
"Your request couldn’t be processed.
We’re sorry, but there was an error processing your request. Please try again later."

Does anyone know if you pre-order through a best buy, and get charged the $50, will you be gauranteed an i4 on launch day?

I was told yesterday that If u reserve one at best buy u will get one one launch day, I'm outside bestbuy right now ... I will update this info in about 15 min

just did mine at 10am this morning at best buy mobile in my mall. got two pre ordered they said they will call everyone to let them know if the are going to have it on launch date.

I ordered mine at Best Buy today, they said it's guaranteed for the 24th. They also said they are the only place that will have the white one available for the first few months. Either way I'm getting black.

I preordered mine yesterday at Best Buy, guaranteed for the 24th as well. I'll be the 9th person with a black 32 GB example :)

hi, i want buy iphone4 unlock.
who can send iphone for me?
i live in iran and we dont have any master or visa cart.
if any body can send me iphone4(unlock) that work in iran, i want him send 50 iphone for me. contact mekag2008kag@gmail.com

We should get in touch. Are you on any social networks? If so, let me know because you know a lot on this topic and I need to learn more. I run a website on portable xm radios. Please visit and leave a comment if you'd like :)

Nice writing. I think your blog should come up much higher in the search results than where it is showing up right now.