Apple is turning back the clock to the days of the Launch Day Lineup
With a sneaky little press release this morning, Apple has shaken up the iPhone X preorder process again. After already bending it somewhat in favor of existing iPhone Upgrade Plan customers, the company has decided to make the iPhone X available in its stores on launch day, as well. This should go smoothly. Stores open at 8 AM local time according to the press release. I especially like the line that encourages walk-in customers to arrive early. I think some people will take that to mean this afternoon.
Joking aside, steps like this are about all Apple has available to give customers more options under their current preorder and early purchase system. I recently suggested that it is time that Apple explores going to a weighted lottery-style system for early preorders, rather than the current online free-for-all. However, there is no way Apple could make a change like that quickly. It would take months of testing and planning to work out the bugs and implement such a system. Allowing those who are committed to getting an iPhone X as early as possible to either get up in the middle of the night to hammer their servers, or line up at an Apple Store days in advance is about all they can do for the “power users” at the moment. I give Apple a little credit for that.
Having new phones available in Apple Stores on launch day is certainly nothing new for the company, but they have done everything they can to move the focus away from mass lineups to online preorders and scheduled in-store pickups in recent years. The fact that Apple is making a statement saying that phones will be available at their stores on launch day is significant this time around because it means they are going to have to pull some of the limited number of first-run iPhone Xs from potential preorder fulfillment to to do it. In the past, there have been few to no non-reserved iPhones that were in short supply at brick and mortar stores. Case in point- I knew a guy who worked at my local Apple Store and he let me know there was no reason to come there looking for the original iPhone 6 Plus, which was also in very short supply at launch. They didn’t get any day one. I’m not sure that anyone did.
Anytime I post something like this, I get the usual anti-Apple comments about how crazy or stupid I am for wasting time getting up early to get an electronic device. In the grand scheme of things, no matter how different it is or what anniversary it is, I do know that a new iPhone isn’t that significant. I don’t need to be reminded of this. Again. Trust me, I get it.
That said, everyone has something they are interested in enough to collect or care about. It may be a hobby, a career, or both, but we all have interests, some of which fall into small niches. I know a guy who has camped out for collector series of Converse Chuck Taylors. My Dad has driven all over to gun and knife shows. Plenty of you have probably showed up at a game store to pick up a preordered game as soon as it went on sale, or camped out to get sports or concert tickets. I have done a few of the above over the years. I have also gotten up at some crazy hours to go hunting, fishing, and camping, as well. For a tech enthusiast, getting up early to preorder a gadget is no different than any of the above. It is merely the outward expression of a sincere interest. I simply ask that you consider your own interests before your judge those of others.
As for me, I’m getting to the point where the prospect of getting up early to do a preorder is a necessary evil of this job, and sitting in a preorder line is something I would avoid if at all possible. I’m definitely excited to get my hands on a new iPhone, but this isn’t something I do for a good time. Most of us who get up early don’t do so for kicks, despite what some of you may think. However, I love getting to write here very much, and that makes getting up to do preorders no big deal. In that perspective, sacrificing a few hours of sleep for the opportunity to cover the iPhone X for readers right at launch is definitely worth it.
What do all of you fellow Apple fans think? Who is getting up early to preorder the iPhone X using the Apple Store app? Are any of you Apple Upgrade Plan users who have gotten prequalified and are ready take your best shot Friday morning? I set mine up for the 256 GB Silver model yesterday. Are any of you going to brave the brick and mortar store lines, now that Apple has given us that option? Let me know in the Comments section below, on Flipboard, on our Facebook page, or on Twitter @iPadInsightBlog.