So what was Apple’s biggest gift to me from this week’s event? It wasn’t an iPhone. In fact, it wasn’t any piece of hardware. It was not a new Apple service or subscription, nor was it a piece of software. It is a valuable commodity and some spend a lot of money in search of it, but it isn’t something you can actually buy. It is the gift of sleep.
It may sound odd, but as much I liked what I saw during Apple’s iPhone Event, the news that they are finally doing away with the insanity of the Midnight Pacific start to pre-orders made me happiest of all. For the first time in a few years, I won’t be staying up until 2 AM Central or getting up just before to snag a new iPhone on day one.
Before any of you @ me with some snarky comments, understand that while I have typically upgraded my iPhone yearly, I do so now largely based on my position here. While I’m all for trying out the new triple lens camera of the 11 Pro Max, I could stand holding onto my iPhone XS Max for another year. It’s been a great phone and the battery life still gets me through a full work day.
I felt a need to put my hands on the iPhone X for review two years ago and the iPhone I really wanted, the larger screen XS Max, came last year. Those devices both brought something to the table that I really wanted. However, there isn’t anything about this year’s iPhone 11 Pro Max that is absolutely must have, at least not for me. But if you write about Apple and you don’t work for one of a very small number of sites, then this is the deal. I’m good with that. But no matter my reason for upgrading, I am looking forward to finally getting a full night’s sleep the night before the pre-order.
Apple actually started changing the pre-order process up a little bit last year. I have been using the iPhone Upgrade Program for yearly upgrades since the second year it was available, but that process wasn’t always so straightforward. Before last year, the only way to upgrade under the program was to turn in your old phone at an Apple Store. This meant you had to get your new phone in-store, as well. It also meant you were subject to when your store got stock.
Apple started allowing Upgrade Program users to get pre-approved for a yearly exchange ahead of the beginning of pre-orders last year. Thanks to this smooth and easy process, all you have to do is confirm your selection once you get into the online store after pre-orders begin, and you are done. In fact, I just did this again this evening for this year’s pre-order. Just like last year, I will get a box in the mail after I get my new iPhone and send my XS Max back to Apple. They made the entire process much more streamlined than before..
I still had to will myself out of the bed at 1:45 AM Central last year to jump onto the Apple Store app for a few minutes and take care of business. This coming Friday, my pre-order will just require a couple of minutes out of the beginning of my workday. I really appreciate that Apple has finally made this move. It’s time. The days of the Apple Store lineup and massive numbers of first-day upgrades are gone. That’s just a product of the maturity of the iPhone. As such, it makes sense to bring a more tame iPhone pre-order process out of the wee hours of the morning. I’m sure I speak for many Apple fans when I say thank you for giving us a little bit of sleep back. I certainly appreciate it.