2Wait in Line at the Apple Store
In years past, Apple Stores have received a batch of smartphone units for those who didn’t preorder the device. However, depending on where you live, you might need to wait in line for days or hours just to get one. It’s not ideal, but some say that standing in line at an Apple Store each year builds camaraderie with fellow iPhone fans, if not character.
3Wait in Line at an Electronics Retailer
Several of Apple’s retail partners are also offering the iPhone 6 on Sept. 19. While many of them have already offered preorders, they typically keep a portion of their stock available for those who aren’t quick to place an order. There is just one issue, however: Again, you may have to wait in line and hope there are still iPhone 6s in stock when you reach the sales counter.
4Wait in Line at Carrier Stores
There is yet another option for hardy souls who don’t mind waiting in line. AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile are all planning to have their doors open to accommodate the first days of iPhone sales. But you should plan to queue up early because typically, carriers get precious few units for customers beyond preorders, so it might be tough.
5Buy a Spot in Line
There is an option for those who don’t want to stand in line but don’t mind spending money: buying a prime spot in line. In the past, some folks have offered to pay a few hundred dollars for a place in line, just so they could get an iPhone on launch day. Whether you’re buying the phone for yourself or ordering it for a friend, this might be an option for those impatient folks who hate standing in line.
6Take a Road Trip Off the Beaten Path
Getting an iPhone in New York City or at a busy Apple Store in a mall on launch day might be a tall order. That’s why some might want to consider taking a ride to a less-busy part of town or to a less populated region to see if the lines are shorter or the supply is greater. With previous iPhone launches, going to quieter areas proved to be a great move for prospective buyers.
7Go With the Smaller iPhone 6
If the preorder and supply information released by analysts is any indication, the iPhone 6 isn’t quite as popular among U.S. consumers as the iPhone 6 Plus. In fact, as of this writing, it’s still possible to get an iPhone 6 on launch day by ordering online. With that in mind, customers who are fine with the smaller iPhone 6 might have an easier time picking up the handset. The iPhone 6 Plus could prove to be pretty scarce on launch day.
8The Preorder List Is Still an Option
Buyers aren’t shut out of the preorder list. In the past, Apple modified its launch unit allotment per country to accommodate heavy demand. There’s also a chance that getting on the iPhone 6 preorder list at retail stores could yield a successful purchase on launch day. For example, as of Sept. 16, Radio Shack still had some units available in at least some of its stores. It’s not necessarily a guarantee, but it’s still an option if you are that eager to get the latest iPhone.
9Use iPhone Trackers
There are some online and mobile tools that track the availability of iPhones across the country. Users need only to input their address, and they can see stock estimates at outlets near their location. Consider using such tools after launch day to see what’s available and where. Apple has one that is probably the most accurate, but there are other tracking tools that crop up on launch day that might also work.
10There’s Always eBay
If all else fails, try going to eBay to finally make the iPhone 6 purchase. While there are always scammers who will try to sell you a nonexistent iPhone online, some iPhone buyers pick up multiple units so they can sell their extras on eBay at a premium. Be ready to spend much more for an iPhone 6 through eBay, but if you are a well-heeled procrastinator and you really want to get your hands on an iPhone as soon as possible, it’s an option.
11There Is Always the Next Day
If you don’t want to wait in line or get out of the house early in the morning on Sept. 19, there’s nothing wrong with waiting a few days when the lines have disappeared and there are more iPhones in stock. Although some people like to brag about having the latest model on release day, there is no law that says you have to buy an iPhone 6 on the first day of availability.