Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is coming to stores today, Sept. 19, while online pre-order sales continue with the major mobile service providers - namely AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile.
Naturally, a number of retailers and carriers have confirmed early opening hours on the date of the new iPhones release. These locations include the Apple Store, Walmart, and Verizon. Buyers should expect long lines and supply problems, considering that Apple has already sold a record-breaking 4 million in first-day pre-orders for both devices.
In contrast, the previous-generation iPhone 5 sold a mere 2 million in pre-orders on the first day of availability.
Verizon (Walk-In Purchase)
Verizon's company-owned stores will open two hours early at 8am, as part of the iPhone 6 release date. Also, Verizon also has a store pickup for preorder customers.
Still, consumers may want to start lining up at least four hours early. In the past, a small number of buyers stayed overnight. For those who plan to do this, be sure to check for availability with the nearest Verizon stores at least one day beforehand. Some locations may not be stocking the iPhone 6 during the official release date.
Other retail sites may have a substantially lower iPhone 6 inventory than those of other stores. This situation is not specific to just Verizon, but other vendors as well.
According to GottaBeMobile, a line typically forms between 4-5am local time. The queue begins to swell at about 7-7:15am, often wrapping around the building. Just before the store opens, the Verizon staff will come out to ask customers about color and storage preferences. However, they will not be answering questions concerning iPhone 6 inventory.
When the Verizon store opens, the first group of customers in line will be allowed to enter the building to make their purchase. This process will continue until the iPhone 6 supply has been exhausted, which will happen quickly.
AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile (Walk-In Purchase)
Other major carriers including AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile are offering the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus at their onsite stores. Store pickup is also available for those who have preordered their iPhone 6 from the big carriers.
Sprint is offering a $20 per month payment play for the iPhone 6, and a $25 per month payment offer for iPhone 6 Plus.
Best Buy, Radio Shack, Walmart, Sam's Club, Staples, Target
Consumers can pre-order the iPhone 6 at Best Buy. The retail outlet also allows customers to pick-up their phones, but for select models only. For Instance, Best Buy is offering every iPhone 6/6 Plus version for Verizon and AT&T for pickup. However, costumers will able to pick up Sprint's 16 GB iPhone 6 variant, but not the Sprint 64GB iPhone 6 model.
RadioShack is an often overlooked location that may stock the iPhone 6 on the release date. Still, buyers should check with their local store location for availability. Currently, the retailer is offering a free $50 iTunes gift card that comes with an in-store purchase of the iPhone 6. Customers also have the choice of trading in their old iPhone models for $100-300, which will go towards buying a new iPhone 6.
Target is offering a similar trade-in offer for between $50-200, but for working iPhones only. Under this offer, customers simply pay the difference for their iPhone 6.
Over at Walmart, the iPhone 6 with two-year contract sells for $179, but for preorders only. In comparison, the preorder iPhone 6 Plus with two-year contract sells for $279 at Walmart.
Buyers can also preorder the iPhone 6 with two-year contract at Sam's Club for a starting price of $177. The nationwide wholesaler is offering the iPhone 6 Plus preorder with 2-year contract for $277.
Surprisingly, Staples is offering the iPhone 6 for preorder, but at select locations. Consumers should check the officer supply store's site first to see what locations are carrying the phone on Friday, Sept. 19. Notably, Verizon subscribers can consider trading in their old iPhones at Staples for a free iPhone 6 with two-year contract with Verizon.
Generally, the situation at Apple Stores tends to be more chaotic. It is not too uncommon to see diehard Mac fans camped out the night before the release.
9to5Mac recently published a breakdown of what to expect at the local Apple Store. Around 5am, Apple specialists will start mingling with the crowd to drum up excitement for the impending product launch. At this time, two lines will be formed. The first will be for walk-in customers, while the other will be for in-store pickup. The pickup option is only for those who preordered the iPhone6/6 Plus online.
Next, Apple will start sending Reservation Pass placeholders to the phones of walking-in buyers, through email or SMS. This replaces the physical product reservation cards from previous iPhone launches. During this time, refreshments will be handed out as well.
At exactly 8am, the Apple Store will call customers by their Reservation Pass numbers. The customer will then be allowed into the store to buy their iPhone 6 of choice. Keep in mind, options will dwindle rapidly because the store's supply is limited.