May the odds be ever in your favor. Starting Friday at 3:01 a.m. EDT, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) fans will have the opportunity to pre-order the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
For those not keen on waiting in line for hours on its official release date of Sept. 19, this may be the better option. But you’ll need to be well-prepared: iPhones have historically sold out in under an hour once pre-orders open.
The first place you’ll want to consider pre-ordering an iPhone from is the Apple Online Store. The process is relatively straightforward. Once sales begin, you’ll have the option to choose from the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus in three colors: silver, gold and space gray.
After selecting a color, you'll be prompted to choose from among AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), Sprint Corp. (NYSE:S), Verizon Wireless, a unit of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) that offers a two-year contract and special financing, or T-Mobile US Inc. (NYSE:TMUS) for a contract-free plan, along with storage options of 16GB, 64GB and 128GB.
One important caveat: While the T-Mobile iPhone 6 does not require a contract, it may not come unlocked.
“The T-Mobile iPhone is contract-free and can be used with the GSM carrier of your choice internationally, but comes preconfigured for use with T-Mobile and needs to be activated with T-Mobile in the United States,” an Apple retail support representative wrote. “To use the iPhone with another carrier in the United States, you will want to contact T-Mobile for your available options or wait for the unlocked version of the iPhone to be released.”
While the Apple representative says users may have to wait for an unlocked version of the iPhone, T-Mobile maintains that as long as consumers pay full price, the iPhone 6 will come unlocked.
"The iPhone 6 will come unlocked as long as customers pay full price," a T-Mobile representative said. "If customers choose to take advantage of T-Mobile’s Equipment Installment Plan it will be locked until the device is fully paid off. This policy applies at both T-Mobile and Apple stores."
Those looking to purchase the iPhone 6 while still under a two-year contract are also advised to check with their carrier’s individual policies, since they may not be able to purchase the iPhone if they’re not eligible for upgrade pricing, according to the Apple retail representative.
While iPhone 6 pre-orders will be shipped to online purchasers on its Sept. 19 release date, Apple hasn’t confirmed whether or not in-store pickup will be available that day.
Outside of ordering from Apple, prospective iPhone 6 buyers will also have a number of pre-order options ranging from U.S. carriers to select retail stores.
Verizon users can reportedly score a deal by trading in their 5S for a $200 gift card to use toward an iPhone 6, while Sprint users will be able to lease the smartphone from the carrier. Those looking to pre-order from their respective carrier websites will be able to do so starting on Friday at 3:01 a.m. EDT.
If you’re unable to pre-order through these options, Target (NYSE:TGT) and Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) is also offering pre-orders, but you’ll have to make those reservations in-store. Prices start at $199 for the iPhone 6 and $299 for the iPhone 6 Plus.
Following pre-orders the iPhone 6 will be released next week through retail and carrier stores in a number of countries, including the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Puerto Rico. More countries are expected to receive the iPhone 6 at a later date.
Should you not be able to pre-order, you can try waiting in line at 8 a.m. at Apple Stores across the U.S. or consider waiting until a later date to see how users react to the iPhone 6 before buying one yourself.