On Oct. 27, at the very reasonable time of 12:01am pacific standard, Apple’s latest smartphone, the iPhone X, will be available for pre-ordering. On Nov. 3, it’ll be in stores, and preorders will be shipped out. To make sure you’re the envy of all your friends—and to be one of the first to find out just how annoying it is to actually use the notched screen design—here are four ways to get an iPhone X as soon as possible, ordered from most easy to most difficult:
With your existing iPhone
Apple recently opened up what effectively amounts to a “pre-preorder” option for anyone interested in buying the X on Apple’s monthly installment plan, the iPhone Upgrade Program, and for those already enrolled in the plan.
If that describes you, and you want the X as soon as possible, download the company’s Apple Store app, and tap on the iPhone X. Apple claims customers will be able to “check out with just a few taps” if they fill out all the digital paperwork in the app before Oct. 27.
Follow all the prompts—but be warned, you’re going to need decent credit to get approved for the iPhone Upgrade Program. The app will check your credit, your cell carrier, and your billing information; if everything passes muster, you’ll be ready to jump back into the app in the middle of the night on Oct. 27 and order your new phone. You can then choose to have it shipped to you, or to pick one up in a nearby store.
If you don’t feel like pre-registering for the iPhone Upgrade Program and would rather just buy the phone outright, you’ll have to roll the dice on apple.com or the company’s app. In theory, you’ll be able to preorder an X at the same time as the upgrade program goes live on Oct. 27. The problem is you will not be alone. If the launch of this device is like any major iPhone launch before it, expect Apple’s servers to be jammed.
It’s likely the phones will sell out within a few hours of 12:01am, so if you were thinking you’d just wake up a bit early on the morning of Oct. 27 and secure an X before you left for work, think again. Realistically, your only shot is to set an alarm for 12:01am (that’s 3:01am eastern time), and plan on getting a bad night’s sleep.
Through your carrier
If you’re due for an upgrade through a contract you have with your carrier, it’s entirely possible that you’ll be able to pick up an X through them. All the major US carriers are offering their own preorder programs running concurrently with Apple’s own. While they will likely have fewer phones available than Apple will, it’s definitely an option to check out if you’re striking out with Apple’s own preorder program.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous and don’t have to be at work on time on Nov. 3 (that’s a Friday), you can always try your luck standing in line at your local Apple Store—sorry, I mean your local Apple “Town Square”. But because we never learn anything and history continues to repeat itself, there will almost certainly be long lines and only a small number of phones available for those who didn’t pre-order.
That said, if you don’t care what color, how much storage space, or what carrier you get, and you have lots of spare time and enjoy being in close contact with other Apple fanatics for potentially hours, this is an option. Apple stores tend to open at 9am or 10am, so make sure to get there well before that.