The big day is coming soon! On October 27th, Apple will open up pre-orders for iPhone X, and on November 3rd, the device will be available for sale in no less than 56 countries around the world. Facing high demand and apparently low supply, the chances to score an iPhone X on launch day are slimmer than ever.

To put all the chances on your side, we’ve put up together this simple guide filled with tips to help you prepare for the event, and make sure you get an iPhone X on launch day, whether it is in your mailbox or directly in store.

Pre-ordering vs standing in line

You basically have two options to get an iPhone on launch day. You can either pre-order it and hope you do it quick enough to get a delivery date of November 3rd, or you can stand in line in front of an Apple Store or an authorized reseller.

Personally, I prefer to pre-order and avoid getting in line for hours, but that’s just me. Some people like to make an event out of it and hang out with other fanboys all night.

My strategy is to go for the pre-order first, and if I’m too slow and can’t get my pre-order through with a delivery date of November 3rd, I will then line up in front of an Apple Store.

The following tips are specifically targeted to people placing a pre-order, but we’ll also have a few tips for people who will have to line up at the door of a store.

Know the pre-order start time in your time zone

Maybe the most crucial information about iPhone pre-orders are the date and time they officially start. History has showed that being one minute too late can set your order back several weeks, so it is primordial that you know exactly when the pre-orders will open in your specific time zone.

For those living on the best coast of the US, pre-order time will start at the usual 12:01 a.m. PDT on October 27th. To make it easier for you to figure out what time that is in your location, we have created an event time announcer that lists the exact time and date of the pre-order launch in hundreds of cities across the globe.

Know what you want

That might sound obvious but think of this as a reminder to make up your mind. Don’t go into pre-orders still on the fence about the finish or storage capacity of the iPhone X you want. Figure it out once and for all and don’t waste one second on this decision the day of.

I’m going for a Space Gray iPhone X with 64GB of storage.

Decide on a backup iPhone variant

Demand is expected to be high and supply is rumored to be extremely low for the iPhone X. As the old adage says, beggars can’t be choosers, and by the time you go through the pre-order process, the exact model you want might already be on back order. If you really want an iPhone X on launch day, decide on a backup iPhone variant in case your preferred model isn’t available.

A Silver iPhone X with 64GB of storage is my backup variant.

Save them as favorite

You can already go to Apple’s website or use the Apple Store application to select your preferred models and save them as favorite. This could save you a considerable amount of time the day of as you won’t have to go through the entire device selection process.

Make sure your personal info is up to date

Insuring your shipping and payment information is up to date prior to placing your order is another step that can help you shave precious seconds during the pre-order process. My advice is to log in to your Apple account and verify not only your payment information but also your shipping details so you don’t have to fill that out manually comes the time to pre-order.

Use the Apple Store application

Instead of clicking on Refresh every 2 seconds to reload Apple’s website on Friday, use the Apple Store application instead. It has proven to be more reliable than the website in the past, and despite having the same features as its browser-based version, the app just feels faster and more practical.

Use Apple Pay

If you’re going to buy from the Apple Store app or online using Safari, it is also important you make sure your Apple Pay details are up to date. Make sure the credit card you want to use is set up as the default one, and make sure your default shipping address is also filled out correctly.

On iPhone or iPad, you can go to Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay to verify that. On your Mac, go to  > Preferences > Wallet & Apple Pay.

Once again, this will save you some precious seconds and could be the difference between receiving an iPhone X on November 3rd and receiving it on December 12th.

Try a carrier or an authorized reseller’s website

Apple’s website is sure to be slammed on Friday morning, but Apple isn’t the only company selling the iPhone X. There are authorized resellers in each country that will likely have iPhone X for pre-order, albeit in very limited quantity.

I always prefer going through Apple’s website, but if for some reason the site and the app don’t work for you, it might be a good idea to check out other places. Ideally, you would identify these places before Friday and bookmark them for quick and easy access, just in case.

Don’t wait for the delivery guy

Let’s assume your pre-order went through. Now you have to wait for it to be delivered at your door. Nonsense! You didn’t stay up late and spend a thousand bucks to sit at home nicely. Take the matter in your own hands and go pick up that iPhone at the shipping facility first thing on November 3rd.

This is a little known secret but when Apple ships your iPhone via UPS or FedEx, you can put the package on hold at a nearby shipping hub and pick it up early in the morning.

We’ve put up a guide about how to get your iPhone on Friday morning at 8am sharp which I invite you to consult for more details and step by step instructions.

If all else fails…

If all else fails, then you might want to stop reading this, pack yourself a sandwich, a blanket, a battery pack, and a comfortable beach chair because you’re going to have to get in line at a physical store.

Figuring out where to get in line is a real conundrum. On one hand, you have Apple Stores that probably have a larger inventory that other retailers, but who likely have a larger crowd lining up in the store fronts. On the other hand, you have carrier stores and other electronics retailers such as Best Buy who might attract a lesser crowd, but who also probably have less inventory than an Apple Store.

It’s a tough situation that only you can figure out. Personally, I’d go for a carrier or a retailer. Drive by their stores on Thursday night and assess the situation. Some people will likely already be there waiting for the doors to open the next day. Figure out what your plan should be: stay up all night to get in line, or wake up early on Friday morning to line up at the store. Again, only you can make that decision.

What’s your strategy?

I feel like these tips will help you cover the basis and put all the chances on your side so you can get your precious on November 3rd. As a veteran iPhone buyer, do you have some tips of your own that you’d like to share with other iDB readers?

  • SpideyRules

    “For those living on the best coast of the US…”

    So is this ‘coastist’? lol

  • chjode

    Is it possible to buy an unlocked or SIM-free iPhone X this Friday?

    I have a pre-paid plan via T-Mobile (because it’s dirt-cheap, that’s why), so I’m apparently not eligible to simply buy an iPhone X outright unless I want to start a new plan according to Apple’s store website or any of the major carriers. Am I SOL for the first few weeks (which based on the iPhone X numbers will likely be several months before I can order an unlocked iPhone X without any carrier involvement)?

    • Susie

      No they won’t release a sim free or unlocked right away even though they did so with the iPhone 8. So far that’s the only iPhone they’ve ever done it with, most likely since they knew it wouldn’t do as well and the iPhone X. It usually takes a month or so before they release the unlocked, sim free version.

      • chjode

        That’s what I figure. And with the rumored tight inventory plus the holiday season, I suspect it’ll quickly become “Ships in 2-3 months” for unlocked models when they finally do make them available.

      • englishmike

        Not correct. The T Mobile full priced ones are unlocked. I buy that one every year and it’s unlocked, use it in US and Europe.

      • Susie

        Someone above said they will release the T-Mobile prepaid version unlocked with a prepaid sim, I’d just like to make clear that I was talking about the global unlocked version.

      • TechnoBuff

        Where do you keep on getting this information from???
        The info on the website stated that it is unlocked and ATT or Tmobile compatible. especially if paid in full.. it means it works with GSM carriers and not CDMA.
        Also stated it can roam on most global carriers!!
        I know there are GSM bands that are imcompatible but i have used my ATT Iphone works on most bands in Europe whenever i travel.

      • Susie

        Global means the iPhone is both GSM and CDMA compatible and will run on any network.

      • TechnoBuff

        This is the point. Virtually 90% of all carriers in the world uses GSM which the ATT and Tmobile version works with. my personal experience attests to that as i use my ATT unlocked phone all over Europe when travelling. same as most of South America and Africa.

        Unless you are on Verizon or Sprint.. sticking to the global is irrelevant.

        The ATT or Tmobile version which will be sold on launch day will work in most places in the world

      • Shadowelite123

        The Verizon iPhone is the true Global unlocked model. It is essentially the best of both worlds as it can connect to CDMA carriers and GSM carriers and the bands that all 4 major carriers support. It is also known as the unofficial global model at launch day (when the unlocked version has not been released yet)

      • TechnoBuff

        Strange that Apple does not even mention that compatibility at all

      • Shadowelite123

        Thats because its not a common thing. As far as I know, only Verizon iPhone have that difference because Verizon is both CDMA and GSM (primarily GSM now though).

      • Susie

        Thank you for explaining what I thought I had made perfectly clear. Lost in translation I guess.

      • Shadowelite123

        The bands information is key in my opinion, because yes, AT&T and T-Mobile models can be used worldwide, however Verizon models have access to more bands (not just CDMA bands, also GSM bands) than those two carriers do.

  • Siri Tim Cook Holness

    ‘best coast’ u know what’s up

  • -S-

    Is there an option to pre order the iPhone and to select a pick up option in the Apple store store? i live in Colombia and i will travel to Miami to pick up the iPhone. what would be the best option for me. thanks for your help

    • Susie

      Yes there is usually the option to pick up at the store.

      • -S-

        Thank you very much, i hope it works

      • Susie

        Good luck… just be aware you won’t be able to get the unlocked, sim free version on launch night. I thought I’d mention that since you live in Columbia… not sure hat carriers you have there.

      • -S-

        Hmmm that would be a huge problem, lets see what happens because last year i got an unlocked version directly at the store, however, this year with the x model there won’t be stuck from the first day I supposed. It won’t be easy for me this year lol

      • -S-

        Susie, i just checked and the paying full price option selecting T-Mobile will give you an unlocked iPhone with a pre paid simcard.

      • Susie

        I apologize for the confusion… when I said they don’t release the sim free version I was talking about the unlocked, global version, not the GSM version. I’m happy you’ll get the phone you want. 🙂

      • Greg Warren

        Source? I know this is how it’s always been in the past, but with the 8 and 8 Plus, the unlocked version was available at launch.

  • Corey Besmer

    Would it be faster to buy an $1100 gift card and pay with that than use a credit card? All of the transaction processing is in-house when using a GC i would imagine and that’d probably be faster. Or is your unit reserved the moment you add it to cart?

    • Blip dude

      If you’re trying to buy it outright I don’t see why not. Don’t quote me on that either though.

    • The Blank

      It won’t make a difference. The giftcard processing and CC processing is done in the same step. Neither will save you time. The unit is not reserved when you add it to your cart, only after payment is submitted.

  • dnice

    what if youre planning on financing the phone rather than paying it outright, you cant do that on the apple site right?

    • Evan

      Yeah you can finance it through the major carriers. I recommend using the Apple store app and testing it with an iPhone 8 order. You can go all the way to the part where you have to pay to get familiar with it. Then just remove the iPhone from the “bag” in the app.

    • Blip dude

      Was able to finance the phone from the Apple website with the option of AT&T next or Apple Upgrade program. The ONLY reason why I couldn’t do the Apple upgrade program was because it required a CREDIT card and not a debit card as that was the only way my father could pay for his phone at the time.

      But yes, the point is it can be done. Just try it with a current in stock iPhone and you’ll see that you will make it to the final page before sending order.

    • Shadowelite123

      Depends on the financing option. With the Apple iPhone Upgrade Program, I was able to set up my pre-order before hand. I’ve already been pre-approved for financing so I just have to be quick to place my order.

  • Tony Trenkle Jr.

    I cant favorite the Iphone X at this time…I’m on the iphone upgrade program and already have that selected and it wont let me select the phone. Unless I’m doing the favoriting process wrong.

    • Jamessmooth

      there should be a little heart icon top right of the screen. if you touch that it should favorite it.

      • Tony Trenkle Jr.

        So I found it, but only after I went through the selecting process and then hitting the back button…odd..But it works now.

      • Jamessmooth

        Sweet. Good luck to you!

  • Jamessmooth

    I’m so basic white girl right now and can’t even. Can’t even wait!
    Let me give everyone the best tip ever: make sure you wait at least 3-5 hours past preorder time in your area. Don’t ask why, just trust me on this one 😉

  • chlg

    quick question, If you buy from the app store once the app store goes offline do you have to close the app and open it again after 3 of does it come online automatically. I know in the apple store online from my computer i have to keep reloading the page?

    • Shadowelite123

      Thats a good question, Id assume it would reload on its own, but best bet would be to close the app and reopen.

      • Aniket Bhatt

        I’ve done this for many years and you don’t need to refresh the app it will automatically pop up, that’s why it tends to be faster and more reliable.

      • Shadowelite123

        Thats great to know. I guess its a win win situation to go the app rather than the site as I was able to set up pre-approval for the iPhone Upgrade Program while I couldn’t do that on the site without signing in every time I refresh. Hopefully my internet doesn’t decide to die on Friday lol

  • Kungaloosh

    Do you want the version with the Qualcomm modem or the Intel modem? I’m assuming T-Mobile + AT&T will get the Intel modem.

    • chlg

      will the tmobile full price still be unlocked and no carrier verification?

      • The Blank

        T-mobile is always unlocked when not on lease.

      • Gary le

        But if you click on compatibility list when you config the x to att/tmobile Verizon is not compatible. So that means only Verizon version can use use will all gsm sims including verizon sims?

      • Kungaloosh

        Do this: Use the Apple Store iOS application to configure a Verizon iPhone X today. As part of a one-time payment option, you should see the words “Unlocked iPhone with Verizon SIM” in the order summary page.

      • chlg

        I want the Verizon version ( i currently have tmobile though ) but in order for me to purchase the verizon model y have to do a carrier verification and i don’t have a verizon account even if I buy the phone outright so i guess i have no choice but to purchase Tmobile version

      • Kungaloosh

        From what I see… if you’re willing to pay the full price, there’s no verification.
        I’d still try to verify this information elsewhere.

  • The Blank

    You don’t even need to worry. No one wants the iPhone X. Overpriced. It won’t sell out.

    • malhal

      the first case redesign in 3 years? Yeh def won’t sell out :-p

      • The Blank

        You forget people have the iPhone 7 Plus… Do you think those guys will pay $1000 for a eye scanner. No they will not. Do you think parents will buy the kids $1000 phones each. No they will not. Phone is not better than the 7.

      • Chetan

        Haha well I have iPhone 7 Plus and I will still buy it. If I am not wrong everyone I know i.e. my friends and relatives, they all are going to do the same. And none of us are on upgrade plan. Its just €1179 and €1349.

        I guess your comment is the first comment I have seen, which says “It won’t sell out”.

      • The Blank

        You’ve been missing all the polls. Bloomberg already cut sales forecasts in half for Apple.

  • AOGV

    What the hell you mean best coast. East coast beast coast

    • Julio Hernandez

      West Coast best coast

  • lavalampguy

    Awesome! Can’t wait to get my hand(s) on this, however, if one is using the Verizon upgrade program through the Apple Store app… I guess my question is, are there more steps that will be involved at point of purchase? Perhaps Verizon’s own app could be more useful in this situation?

  • Eric Gifford

    I honestly don’t know for sure, but it seems like when you save your favorite iPhone X model as a favorite, that the Apple Store App does NOT remember if you selected installment payments and reverts back to a “pay in full” transaction. Try it out. Select your preferred iPhone X color, capacity, then select if you’re upgrading your existing phone or buying a new one, then select one of the installment payment options (doesn’t matter which). Once you’ve done all that and touch the heart in the upper right hand corner to save your favorite, you see a summary of “Your new iPhone X” which in the middle of the screen will show which Installment Program you selected. Ok…now, touch “Shop”…and go fart around the store for a few minutes. Or, better yet, just go ahead and close the Apple Store app. Reopen it and touch Account on the bottom menu. Touch the iPhone X you saved as a favorite. Now, when it shows the “Your new iPhone X” summary, there will be NO information RE: installment payments. The only thing you’ll see at the middle of the page now is the option to select AppleCare or not. Another thing that makes me think it doesn’t remember…at the top of this summary page, touch “AT&T” (or whatever your carrier is) and you are right back to the beginning of selecting your carrier options, i.e. “Replace this iPhone” or “Buy a new iPhone”. Does everyone else see this? What do you think? I wonder if it really does remember the installment payment options and when the phones are available and you touch “Continue”, it will move forward with “Installment Payments” as the pay option? All I know is if it reverts back to a “Pay in Full” option, you’d then have to go back to selecting the correct model phone from the very beginning. I’m about ready to call Apple to try and verify this.