If you’re set on getting an iPhone 6, you’re probably really excited for this Friday. Your device is on its way to your local store for pick-up, and Apple Store employees are being briefed on how to handle the big day. Here’s what you can expect when you go pick up your phone.
If you’ve pre-ordered your new iPhone, things will go pretty smoothly. You already know that you can pick up your device at any point on Friday, so the whole “take a day off work to stand in a queue” isn’t a concern for you. So long as you make it to the store on Friday, you’re fine.
When you get to the store, there will be a line specifically set up for pre-orders. Have your order info ready, though, as store employees will ask to scan your “Ready for pickup” barcode. Apple says they’ve seen a record number of pre-orders for the iPhone 6, so be prepared to stand in line for a bit.
Why are you standing in line after pre-ordering your iPhone for pickup? After Apple Store employees verify your bona fides, you’ll be escorted individually to the Genius Bar to complete the transaction. There, employees will ask if you need a Personal Setup, which is a one-on-one for getting your new phone up and running. If you don’t want that, the employee helping you out will tell you about their various workshops before you leave.
How do I put this delicately (spoiler alert: I don’t!)? Umm, you will be standing in line, and subject to whatever your Apple Store has for you. Get there early enough, and you might end up with the phone you want (unless it’s an iPhone 6 Plus, those are evidently hard to come by right now).
Get there early enough, and Apple Store employees will be outside chatting you up. At around 5am, Apple Store employees have been instructed to go outside and chat with those in line for a phone, and find which one they’re looking to buy. They’ll monitor stock levels accordingly, and let you know what your options are.
Like any first-come, first-serve scenario — you’ll get what they have. Did you want an iPhone 6 in Space grey with 64GB? Well, they’re out of that — how about Silver, and 32GB? No? Well, you’re out of luck for now, kids.
Pre-order is clearly your best option, and in our next segment, we’ll tell you why.
Apple is holding out on you
Do they really not have that 64GB Space Grey iPhone? Like, really not have it? Actually, they do — but you can’t have it.
Apple has instructed store employees in the stock area to hold back 4% of stock, per SKU. That means for every variant they have, 4% will stay on store shelves. Why are they doing that, you ask? To safeguard those who have an iPhone already.
Let’s run through a scenario, here. Say you pre-ordered your phone, and showed up at 9am to grab it. You run through the transaction, get it set up and running, and bolt without having a personal setup done. Around 2pm, while you’re wowing your work pals with the new camera features, you notice something is off with your phone.
“No $%^@*! way!” you say, vowing to return to the Apple Store and raise hell. Around 6pm, you show up at the store you bought your phone from, ready to go thermonuclear (I had to. Sorry.).
Rather than apologize and order you one, the Apple Store can probably just shove another new phone in your hands. They’re holding 4% of their stock back in the instance someone finds a flaw with what should be a perfect device. If you pre-ordered, you’ll not only be guaranteed the device you want, but will have a better chance at getting a replacement if something is wrong with it.
After you’ve paid, set-up your device, and made it out — go play with your iPhone 6! There is a lot of cool stuff going on with the latest hardware, and with iOS 8 coming out tomorrow, you’re likely up to speed already (if you already own an iPhone).