I guess we develop more patience as we grow older, because it hasn’t seemed like too much of a wait to get to iPhone Launch Day Number 2. There was a time when I would be happily gearing up to get up at 1:45 AM or so to pre-order the latest iPhone. On one occasion, I even went to an Apple Store and spent the night waiting in line when it was the only way to get a 5S on launch day. In more recent years, I’ve gotten up early because it was required, but any appeal that had wore off a while ago.
Thankfully, Apple has changed things over the years and now we don’t have to choose between getting up at an ungodly hour or staying up to get the latest iPhone on day one. Now it’s as simple as logging onto the Apple Store app or Apple.com at 5 AM Pacific. That’s 7 AM for me, which is pretty easy since that happens to be the time I start my normal work day.
It’s even better being in on Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Plan these days, as they make renewal quite painless. I got an email a week ago letting me know that I could get pre-approved for an upgrade if I chose to. Once I confirmed that my current plan is eligible, I was able to choose my preferred model, which is the iPhone 12 Pro Max in Gold with 256 GB, ahead of time. Then Apple does a credit check and gets you pre-approved for a new loan for this year’s iPhone Upgrade Plan. Everything is saved and ready to go for tomorrow morning. All I have to do is open the Apple Store app at 7 AM Central and finalize my purchase.
This is all such a huge improvement over how things used to be. The 2 AM cattle call was never a good time and even though I did it a couple of times, I never was a fan of the old Apple Store line-ups, either. The Upgrade Plan has come a long way, as well. Up until a few years ago, there was no automated pre-approval process if you wanted to upgrade after a year, or a setup to return your current iPhone for exchange via FedEx. In the program’s first couple of years, you had to reserve a new iPhone that happened to be in stock at a local Apple Store and return your current iPhone in person. If you couldn’t find one in stock, then you waited. And sometimes waited and waited some more.
Apple has certainly smoothed out the rough edges after years of practice. Tomorrow will be a great example of just how far things have come. If it goes like the iPad Air order I placed a few weeks ago, then I will be set and done within around five minutes. I hope any of you looking to upgrade tomorrow morning have the same smooth experience that I expect after the last few pre-orders.
So which iPhone are you looking at getting? Are you going small with the 12 Mini or big with the 12 Pro Max? Are you getting a new color or sticking with an old standby? Anyone using the iPhone Upgrade Plan or the Apple Card 2 years no interest payment plan? Is anyone else picking up a HomePod Mini to go with that iPhone? Let me know in the Comments below or on Twitter @iPadInsightBlog.