line at apple store over night

It’s the same dilemma every year. You want the new iPhone as soon as possible, but don’t want to spend the night waiting in line to get it. As much as I love Apple crowds, I’d rather spend the night in my bed.

Even if you ordered your iPhone for delivery, there is always a chance the UPS guy won’t come by your house until later in the day, which means you could still be left hanging there for several excruciating hours. First world problems indeed!

Thankfully, if you’ve ordered your iPhone for delivery, we have a trick that may help you score your iPhone first thing in the morning, as soon as 8am.

Pre-requisites: for this to work, your iPhone must be shipped via UPS or FedEx. If you’re planning to go to an Apple or carrier store to get your iPhone, then I’m sorry but this won’t work and you’ll have to get the line like everybody else.

How does that work?

If like me your house is towards the end of the UPS driver route, you might want to put your iPhone on hold at the main UPS hub (or a store) and go pick it up yourself early that day when it opens at 8am, instead of waiting all day for the driver to deliver the package.

The trick is to get in touch with either UPS or FedEx and ask them to hold your iPhone at one of their locations. Depending on where you live, you might have a UPS/FedEx warehouse not too far from you (I know the main UPS hub for San Diego is about 30 minutes away from my house). If you don’t have one of these warehouses nearby, you might still want to look at UPS or FedEx stores, which can act as a drop off location and still be able to pick up your iPhone there sooner than it would be delivered at your house.

In this post, I will show you how to use UPS My Choice to put your iPhone on hold at a specific UPS location. Note that FedEx has the exact same system in place called FedEx Delivery Manager.

Step 1: If you don’t have one yet, create a free UPS My Choice account. Note that the verification process can be a bit tedious and tricky as the company will ask personal information related to your previous addresses and employers. This is required to ensure you really are who you say you are. If Apple is shipping your iPhone with FedEx, you can create a FedEx Delivery Manager account instead.

Step 2: Login to your UPS My Choice account and you should be presented with a calendar view, showing all UPS shipments scheduled to be delivered at your house. The shipment from Apple says “AI.” As you can see on this screenshot, my iPhone is scheduled to get here by the end of the day, which is much later than I would want.

UPS My Choice Plan Deliveries

Step 3: Click on the “AI” link and select Change Delivery.


Step 4: Select “Pickup my package at a UPS location.”


Step 5: You will now be presented with a list of UPS locations around you. As mentioned before, there are actual UPS warehouses (or hubs) and UPS Stores. Hubs are usually located around larger cities. UPS Stores are pretty much available everywhere around the country. If you don’t have a main hub nearby, my advice is to call all UPS Stores near you and ask them what time they usually receive shipments. I personally called several around town and they had delivery times that vary greatly. Ultimately, going straight to the main hub is my best option, but you might find a UPS Store near you that get deliveries early morning. Once you’ve figured out what the best option for you is, select that location.

select ups location

Step 6: Verify the information and click Finish to proceed.

On Friday morning, go to that location and make sure you have a valid ID with you. If everything goes according to plan, you should be able to get your iPhone first thing, as soon as 8am when the UPS location opens.

If you have had bad experiences with UPS in the past, I can see how you would be worried to purposely put a package on hold at a specific location, but after speaking to a half dozen UPS employees, it seems to me this is a basic service they complete thousands of times a day. Having done that last year for my iPhone 6s, I know the process works and is indeed better than waiting all day for the delivery guy.

What’s your strategy for launch day?

  • Josh1991

    Extract steps I did once I got my tracking number which it said should ship to home Tuesday by the end of the day

    • TwinSon

      Mine says the same. Most it will do is allow me to pick it up at the UPS hub tuesday at 8am.

  • Theodore

    the nearest UPS CC won’t open till 12pm, 🙁

  • Totally would pick it up about 15 minutes away from my house at 8:00am but have a meeting at 8:30. So unless they are freaky fast and there’s no line, it’s going to have to wait till after work. Ah well. To those doing this, have fun!!! 🙂

    • That meeting possibly can’t be more important than a new iPhone 😉

      • 🙂 Everyone in the meeting already knows how tech nutty I am and will be making fun of me the second I show up at 8am. All in good fun.

      • Flabalanche

        then you have nothing to worry about 🙂

  • Juan Genao

    Yep, I’ve been doing that for a while. My UPS location is only 2 minutes away, so it works out perfect.

  • igobythisname

    i already do this for all my UPS deliveries.. I live in an apartment and if I don’t pickup from a UPS Access point, I’ll be chasing delivery drivers down all around town!, but excellent and thorough post! [Applause!]

  • TwinSon

    Mine is not showing up yet even though I got a tracking label this morning.

  • Sam

    Mine is with FedEx…

  • AppleRelatedNewsiDBSkips

    In other news, China has figured the iPhone 6s is no worth more than 17ml of sperm…the R&D must be worth Tim Cook’s own.

    geek. com/apple/sperm-bank-in-china-offers-cost-of-iphone-6s-for-17ml-donation-1634468/

  • 40niners

    Do I just sign up for both services since I have no idea which carrier my phone is shipping with??

  • veda99

    I live in Philly and UPS is not going to deliver or no pickup on Friday coz of Papal visit 🙁 Hope Apple store will be open for pickup of reserved iPhone

  • AppleRelatedNewsiDBSkips

    In other news, China has figured the iPhone 6s is no worth more than 17ml of sperm…guess what Apple’s R&D must be worth.

    geek. com/apple/sperm-bank-in-china-offers-cost-of-iphone-6s-for-17ml-donation-1634468/

    • OneBigInFiniteJoinT

      WTF is going on in this world ?

  • OneBigInFiniteJoinT

    well i missed out on the pre orders. i tried to place an order for the 6s+ at around 1am but they shipping dates had already slipped to 2 to 3 weeks so i tried reservation at a local apple shop and got a hit at 6pm on launch day, so straight to Apple after work !

  • Mark Tesch

    Just got mine….my will to live, that is.

  • My iPhone 6s hasn’t shipped yet 🙁

    • Garrett

      Mine still says preparing to ship, delivers by Sept. 25th. My guess is that it has shipped, but if they tell you it has shipped they have to give a tracking number. Which ruins the surprise.

      • Yeah. Mine still says preparing for shipment. I hope it comes on Friday.

  • socrates

    I’m confused a tiny bit. Are UPS CC the only ones who do this? Or do the stores do it as well?

  • Jacob S

    #lol I have one 6s plus 64gb coming via UPS on Friday and also I have a store reservation for 6s plus 128GB on same day. I am planning to refuse delivery for UPS and ignoring my store appointment just because I decided to stick with my 6 plus 128gb and my Galaxy S6 edge (I have both android and iOS for my work and personal). Kudos to you guys planning BIG for the “s” version. If it was 7 I would have understand it 🙂

  • Felipe Queiroz Drumond

    I am ready! Are you?

    • Maurice Hooijmans

      The iPhone 6s screen protectors won’t fit correctly…

      • Felipe Queiroz Drumond

        Hi Maurice! That’s weird. My comment was done 1 year ago when I bought the iPhone 6.

      • Felipe Queiroz Drumond

        It seems that IDB just changed the content of this post (it was originaly published on Sep 21, 2015)


      • S.C.

        I thought you were trolling everyone saying that you’re enthusiastically ready with your new 6S case and screen protector.

  • Jordan Stevens

    I was wondering when you were going to mention this “trick”. I’ve been doing this since the iPhone 5!

  • Darla Mack

    Not sure about UPS but I can state that Fedex will not allow this to happen. Apple along with the carriers have added shipper restrictions for this. Hold at Location or HAL can not be made by the recipients and the only changes that can be made by the shipper. You can try but good luck with that.

  • C B

    Sorry, but I just had to speak out. Mmmm something is really wrong here… unless this article is intended for reviewers and everyone commenting here are truly looking forward to be among the first ones to post a review (which I know isn’t the case), why the desperation???? I’ll get my phone when I get my phone. Period. Geez, it seems you’re all going to get a heart attack if you don’t get the phone at 8 AM on Friday. How shallow of you all! No wonder why Apple abuses their fame with such supporters!

    • Julio Hernandez

      Geez, just let people live their lives. If we wanna get excited about something then let us. You do you boo.

    • Greg Warren

      Well, my delivery is going to require a signature, and nobody is at my house during the day. So I would have to wait until Saturday or possibly Monday. So by doing this I can pick it up before going to work. How shallow of you to think you’re all high and mighty that some of us might want to do this simply as a matter of convenience.

    • Jack

      Who are you to say what one should or shouldn’t get excited about? Time to reevaluate your negativeness. Nasty person! My dad died and bought me an iPad while going through chemo. I cherish it. I get happy over stuff like this. Eat crow man

      • C B

        Jack, Greg and Julio: I was just expressing my opinion on the matter. Not being negative at all. If anything, I can tech you all a thing or two about being positive minded in life. I guess I made a mistake about being loud about how most people here would kill to have the phone on Friday first thing in the morning. I was just trying to make a point about how I think people should or shouldn’t react based on the excitement of things that are really worth it. That’s it. In the end, all people are different and there are different levels of human evolution…
        Now, I’m going to stop typing and let you all be yourselves while I mind my own business. Enjoy your Apple orgasm tomorrow; mine will certainly last longer =)

      • Jack

        You missed the point once again and you aren’t positive man. Chill.

      • Greg Warren

        “How shallow of you all!”
        “Not being negative at all.”
        Nice contradiction.

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  • Eli Montoya

    Instructions unclear. Got finger stuck in power outlet.

  • Austin

    If the iPhone is shipping from ATT is it next day shipping? because i haven’t gotten my shipping info & it says its ship day is Thursday the 24th?

    • Julio Hernandez

      Call AT&T customer service and I’m sure they can give you your tracking number through UPS. At least that’s what I did with T-Mobile.

  • TwinSon

    Already been charged and given a tracking #. I’m assuming UPS is holding it and starting shipping tomorrow to various dispersal points. I’m curious as to why It’s telling me I have to wait until Tuesday to pick it up.

  • Thank you for this! I’ve signed up for UPS My Choice in the past so luckily I didn’t have to go through that. I wanted to make sure I got my phone first thing in the morning becasue I’m changing my plan which means I’m going to have to return my phone to Apple first thing and go to my carrier store and set up my new plan there. I thought I was going to have to wait until 5pm Friday and be out of luck with finding one. Thanks for this!

  • Gary LE

    This will not work on surepost (transfers final shipment to usps) only on final dlivery by ups apparently as i was checking on a mini case i ordered.

  • Christopher Campbell

    This is going to provide delivery on Monday…not Friday:(

  • Brian Climaco

    FedEx has all customization options greyed out for this shipment =/
    Guess i have to try to call

    • Gary LE

      I tried to change the pickup location to fedex location but that is greyed out! Maybe it is just too close to friday already. So i guess i will be glued to my house tomorrow. If thats the case then i will wait until 8pm?

  • Jack

    This worked for me. Will be available for pickup 8:30-6pm at my local UPS hub. Was previously signed up for My Choice. My UPS driver throws major shade so I avoid him at all costs. He probably wouldn’t even ring my bell and just leave a call tag note!!!!! Crisis overted. Maybe I should camp out overnight at UPS? Hahaha

  • Gary LE

    Just checked my fedex manager area and the option for picking up at a fedex location is greyed out!!!! Why? The original ship date was oct 16 but i checked today it says its in texas and will be here tomorrow by 8.

    Maybe because it will be here tomorrow? So its too late to pick up at fedex location?

  • Nhân Phan

    San Diegan checking in 😉