How to Avoid Long Lines When Buying the iPhone 4S Tomorrow

By , Oct 13, 2011

Tomorrow, the iPhone 4S will go on sale in stores around the world, and many people will be (and already are) lining up to purchase one.

One problem people always encounter when Apple releases a new product is long lines. There are a couple of different ways to avoid the lines, which will save you time, and, most importantly, ensure that you get a new iPhone!

Avoid Buying from the Apple Store

One common mistake people usually make when buying a new iDevice is going to the Apple Store on launch day. This is a bad idea because tons of other people make the same mistake.

Though Apple Store’s get more product stock to sell, there are also more people and longer lines, and that decreases your chances of getting actually getting the iPhone 4S. The line length also depends on where you live. If you live in San Francisco, for example, the long might be really long, compared to an Apple Store in the middle of Kansas.

Go to a Retail Partner

Apple partners with multiple retail outlets to sell its products. Many people forget that a new Apple product can also be purchased from other retailers besides the Apple Store.

Best Buy, RadioShack, Walmart, Sam’s Club and Target will all be selling the iPhone 4S, too. Depending on the store size, stock will be much more limited than your local Apple Store, but the benefit is that not many people think of going to Target for a product launch.

It would be wise to call retail chains in your area that you know sell Apple products. Ask them how long they will be open tomorrow, if they expect to sell out quickly, etc. Some retailers will even let you hold an iPhone behind the desk for a limited time.

Go to a Carrier Store

With the iPhone 4S now available on Sprint, you have a better opportunity of getting an iPhone 4S this weekend. There are more carrier stores than Apple Stores, so a carrier store would be a good bet for finding an iPhone and avoiding the lines. Carriers will have smaller stock, but their outlets usually outnumber Apple Stores in a particular area.

Order Online

The last alternative to going to a store is ordering online. This guarantees you a device, and a specific color and storage option. You are given the same options as buying from the store when buying online. Buying online also gives saves you time, instead of waiting in a long line.

In the case of the iPhone 4S, buying online will ensure that you don’t get your device shipped for at least another week. Shipping estimates have fallen to 1-2 weeks worldwide for online orders, so that’s something to consider.

iPhone 4S pre-orders have already sold out on all three US carriers, and there will be limited stock available for launch tomorrow. In most cases, the people in front of the line get the newest product, while those in the back get no such luck.

If you’re smart, you may just be able to avoid the lines and snag an iPhone 4S tomorrow. Let us know what you decide to do!

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  • Will

    Best buy . I already got my email confirmation to pick it up first thing in the morning !

  • Dave

    AT&T online. Delivered by tomorrow, already have my tracking number.

    • http://littlepoopmachine.wordpress.com Zach

      Same here!

  • Kyle

    Best buy just informed me they have 6 times as many pre-orders as they do phones. Already a line in front of apple (night before), and AT&T is giving a shipping estimate of 2 weeks. Guess I’ll have to wait for mine.

  • Bob Newhart

    I’m planning to stand in line tomorrow, planning on going at 4am, here’s hoping that is early enough to get one, 4 hour wait isn’t too bad, just hoping that it’s early enough to make certain I get one here in Portland, OR.

    • iPwn

      If you are going to the one in Lake Oswego (Bridgeport village) be prepared for long lines and potentially not getting one… Last I heard the line was already starting.

      • Bob Newhart

        Yeah, I was looking at Washington Square, they said they tend to get a lot of people coming in from other areas, but because of their high sales numbers they get lots of phones in stock.

  • nik

    do you think ill get an black 4s 32 or 64 gb in sf if i will be in line at 7am

    • VnABC

      Do u have kids? Love to take pix & video? Or love watching your 720p or 1080p on your phone? Yes to any, pick the 64GB

  • Horkboy

    “It would be wise to call retail chains in your area that you know sell Apple products.”

    Yeah, great idea. Make sure the workers are swamped with trying to answer the phones from stupid callers, rather than focus on selling the phones.

    • Brains530

      The context is implying that you call before it’s even released, moron.

    • Brains530

      The context is implying that you call before it’s even released, idiot.

      • yup93

        Dont be a dick dude! He’s voicing his opinion just like the rest and doesnt give you the right to insult him!

  • http://none The iOS guy

    Already have it

    • Jason Masters

      Yup mines came early this morning!!

  • Dave

    I already have mine on the way via UPS, but I will STILL line up at the apple store – you gotta love the iCrowds! =)

  • Eric

    Not getting one i dont have a upgrade oh well guess im waiting for the iPhone 5 :)

  • JT

    Should I unjailbreak my phone before bringing it into ATT tomorrow to get the 4S?

    • Shawn

      Might help.

      • JT

        Thank you.

  • Brandon

    So I have a question. I have a 3GS on AT&T with a free upgrade if I Renew my contract. So if I renew my contact, will they let me upgrade to a 64GB iPhone 4S?

    • Bob Newhart

      If you pay then $400 for that iPhone 4S, yes they will.

    • JT

      yes.

  • Jake

    Quick question does iPhone 4s comes with micro sim card?? Even I’m getting my phone from apple site?

  • Jake

    Quick question does iPhone 4s comes with micro sim card?? Even if I’m getting my phone from apple site? I have 3GS which has regular sim cards.

    • Anon

      No, it will not come included with a sim card. You’ll have to get this from your carrier.

      • Jake

        Thx

  • angel

    Will I have a chance of getting a white iPhone 4s 16g if I get to a sprint store (in Blaine Minnesota) at about 6/630 am? No lines at all tonight so far and they open at 8am tomorrow… Just want to be early enough but not ridiculously early lol… Any input would be great, just shattered the screen on my evo so I am going to go crazy without a smart phone, and I WANT the iPhone but was too late for pre order :-/

  • soonerman

    cant wait. The EVO 4G….finally.

  • soonerman

    cant wait. The EVO 4G, wow finally. Surprised all these people are in line for this awesome Android.

    • _|_

      Hmmmm?

  • Tami

    I stupidly pre-ordered through Best Buy. My local store really has no idea what they’re doing, I’ve found. I haven’t gotten a reservation e-mail so far. I was planning on lining up at either Target or an AT&T store tomorrow morning, until I can get a hold of someone at Best Buy to find out whether I have one on reserve.

    • Jason Masters

      Best buy is notorious for screw ups !

    • soonerman

      Bestbuy won’t release preorders until their second shipment. First come first serve today until gone.
      Very lame, and a slap in the face to those pre ordering.

  • Scaredy Shroom

    I always wait until the second batch of products so they can iron out the errors.

    3GS had a notorious “pink phone” problem in the initial batch, the 4 had its fair share of issues as well, just be patient and but it next month.

  • xCoreyx

    Already second in line at the Valencia, CA Apple Store and there’s only 40ish people behind me with 3.5 hours until open.

    • ic0dex

      Sprint in Studio City :) 50+ here….

  • Kathy

    I ordered mine last Friday, and UPS just delivered it.

  • http://l Djs

    Got mine at the AT&T store here in Columbia SC. Went in walked right to the counter and bought it (no wait)

  • Angel

    Got mine yesterday at sprint, was 4th in line only 5 were waiting…. We’re told when they opened that they only have 5 iPhones in stock…. So I got one but they also told everyone that only NEW customers can get an iPhone today… Either way I waited for 2 hrs before open and was so close to not getting one!!! I love my Iphone 4s <3