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Pre-ordering the iPhone X Tonight? Here’s How to Cut in the Virtual Line

Apple pre-orders are usually a zoo and the release of the iPhone X is poised to be especially so. But don’t worry—we’ve got some straight forward tips to help you cut through the crowd of virtual shoppers and get the phone you want.

The iPhone X is the 10th anniversary release of the iPhone, packed with new design choices, and destined to burn through the pre-order reserve in no time. If you want to get your hands on an iPhone X sometime before 2018 there’s a good chance the only way you’ll do so is by ordering one at the launch tonight.

Be Ready at the Right Local Time

All the tips in the world won’t help if you’re not ready at the right time. Apple pre-orders always roll out just after the clock strikes midnight at the Apple headquarters—we assume it’s only a proverbial clock, but a giant ominous launch clock chiming in the night would be pretty great. Here’s when you need to be ready to order, based on your US time zone, from the earliest to the latest local times:

  • 10:01 PM – HADT (Hawaiian Time)
  • 11:01 PM – AKDT (Alaskan Time)
  • 12:01 AM – PDT (Pacific Time)
  • 01:01 AM – MDT (Mountain Time)
  • 02:01 AM – CDT (Central Time)
  • 03:01 AM – EDT (Eastern Time)

Sorry fellow Eastern Timers—you’ll either need to stay up late with a Netflix  binge or set a very early alarm if you want to pounce on a pre-order at the pre-crack-of-dawn.

Use the Apple Store App on an iOS Device

There isn’t a more sure fire way to get yourself shoe-horned into the line faster than to use the Apple Store app on your iOS device—note, this is not the App Store app where you purchase apps, but a separate application used for purchasing Apple products.

Every single time there’s a launch date or pre-order release the Apple web site and the Apple Store app go offline together to load the changes, but the Apple Store app always comes back first. Hands down it’s the most reliable way to get your order in before the stock runs out (and you’re stuck waiting on an order destined to arrive sometime in the first quarter of 2018).

Familiarize yourself with the application ahead of time if you haven’t used it before, so you’re not fumbling around looking for navigation elements when the clock is ticking.

Favorite the Phone You Want Ahead of Time

Just because you can’t buy the iPhone X until the pre-order launch time doesn’t mean you can’t give yourself a head start. You can browse the Apple Store, pick the phone you want (carrier, finish, and capacity) and then favorite that item by clicking the heart icon.

That phone, in that exact configuration (carrier and all), will be saved in the “Account” tab of the Apple Store app. One click (once the launch is active) and it’ll be dropped right into your cart.

Use Apple Pay

Speed, if we haven’t emphasized this enough yet, is of the essence. Another way you can shave a few seconds off your race to the virtual store front is by skipping the hassle of punching in your credit card number.

Instead, add the credit card you want to use to Apple Pay so you can one-click purchase with your Apple Pay account instead of tapping away furiously on your phone or tablet trying to enter your info.

Do a Dry Run with the iPhone 8

We’ve laid out the tips for you, now it’s time to make sure you’ve got them down. If you’re serious about getting that iPhone X at the stroke of midnight (or the sad bleary eyed crack of dawn if you’re on the East Coast), you need to practice.

Fire up the Apple Store app, make sure you know your way around. Make sure you’ve got Apple Pay turned on. Now, do a dry run pretending you’re going to purchase an iPhone 8 so you can run through all the steps—right up to the last button press to confirm the purchase.

Seriously, do not press that button. Apple’s ordering system is so freaking fast by the time you call them to cancel the mistaken order, that iPhone 8 will already be labeled and on a conveyor belt somewhere.

With a little planning you can slam your order in, get to bed, and wake up refreshed enough to make your sweet, sweet, luck getting the iPhone X on launch the topic of conversation around the water cooler tomorrow.

Jason Fitzpatrick Jason Fitzpatrick
Jason Fitzpatrick is the Founding Editor of Review Geek and Editor in Chief of LifeSavvy. He has over a decade of experience in publishing and has authored thousands of articles at Review Geek, How-To Geek, and Lifehacker. Read Full Bio »