How to Get the iPhone 6 Without Waiting in Line for Hours
If you haven’t pre-ordered an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus and still want to be among the first to own the device, there’s a good chance you’ll be facing a long line at the Apple Store today or this weekend.
Most Apple stores get pretty big shipments of new iPhones; that’s the obvious choice, but not the only one. In fact, you can get the iPhone 6 (16GB) for below the recommended price at Walmart ($179, instead of $199), and you’ll probably have to wait less, too.
Before we dive into alternatives, let’s draw our attention to the behemoth line that wrapped around the flagship Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in New York 24 hours in advance. 24 hours. For those who are inherently impatient, the clip below will give you nightmares.
And if you do want to try your luck at Apple, be sure to check Apple.com for store quantities or try to arrange an in-store pick up. That could easily shave a good amount of time off your wait.
Now, on to other options: Retailers like Best Buy, Walmart and Staples have a healthy supply of devices. Best Buy is among the more popular retail spots to pick up an iPhone, so in some cases, be prepared to wait on line for awhile too.
A manager brings out a stack of new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c phones on the day of their release at a Best Buy in Atlanta, Friday, Sept. 20, 2013.
Image: John Amis
Best Buy has a ticketing process to help the lines run smoothly, but it only offers one ticket for each customer, so if you want to upgrade your whole family, they will all need to be present. (Note: Apple lets each person in line buy two phones).
Not all Best Buy stores were packed this morning, though. According to a Best Buy employee in a message posted to Reddit, the store was practically empty for the launch. The user didn’t disclose the location, but included a picture of the “crowd.”
Not all Best Buy stores had a packed house for the launch of the new iPhones on Friday.
Image: Reddit, inebriusmaximus
“I work at Best Buy and had to be in for 6 a.m. to prep for the launch. When we opened at 8 we had two people who just wanted to look at the phone and not buy it,” said another Reddit user, ambestensein.
Walmart is another option that people might not consider for picking up an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, and the company is giving customers a nice incentive to choose them over others by discounting the devices. In addition to an iPhone 6 price cut (with a two-year Verizon, AT&T or Sprint contract), the iPhone 6 Plus is priced at $279 ($20 cheaper than what you’ll find at the Apple store).
But some retailers only have iPhones for certain carriers. Based on calls we made to Staples on Friday, only Verizon iPhones were available for walk-in customers (they accepted pre-orders too). A salesperson told Mashable that “AT&T delayed their iPhone shipments to the store, so we only have Verizon devices right now.”
In addition to select retailers, you’ll of course be able to find some at the carrier stores, too. Be choosy about which store location you go to — for example, the AT&T location in Union Square in New York City had a line halfway down the block before doors opened at 9:00 a.m. on Friday. But uptown, a location on East 86th Street had just about 15 people queued up — which sure beats the hundreds of people waiting at the Apple Store just 30 blocks south. Meanwhile, the T-Mobile store (also in Union Square) had no line at all.
Wtf. We are in a remote corridor of grand central in line for PREORDER. Really Apple? Really????… http://t.co/mpuzOIKCRw
— Lady Moncrieffe (@yrcania522) September 19, 2014
Timing is key too — you might be holding off until the early Friday rush subsides, but just think how crazy it will get on Saturday when everyone who’s busy working today will try to pick one up then. If you wait too long, supplies will sell out.
Of course, if you’re not in dire need of a new iPhone, you can get it shipped to you directly. Right now, estimations are about four weeks away for arrival. You might not have an iPhone in your hands by the end of the weekend, but at least you’ll have your sanity.
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