Today is the launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c. The iPhone 5s was not available for pre-order in most countries, presumably a move by Apple to generate press-grabbing long lines at retail outlets. The 5c has been available for pre-order since September 13 for purchase beginning today.
If you want a new iPhone today but aren’t in line yet, all is not lost. You may still be able to get your hands on a new iPhone if you know where to look. Expect severe shortages, especially of the gold and white models, which were sold out as of 7:30 am EDT at the Apple store in Delaware.
Before you head out to the stores, decide which iPhone best suits your needs and budget. Decide what you’re willing to compromise on with color and storage choices.
The iPhone 5s comes in three color choices, Silver, Space Gray and Gold, while the iPhone 5c comes in five colors. If you can be flexible in your color choices, you’ll have a better chance of getting an iPhone right away. Space gray/black seems to have the most availability.
When you’re making your decision on storage, remember more storage is better, but it will cost you $100 each time you increase a level of storage on the iPhone. The iPhone 5s comes in 16, 32 and 64 GB. The iPhone 5c comes in 16 and 32 GB.
After you buy an iPhone you can’t add to the storage capacity, you can only delete items off of your phone. Since Wednesday when people began updating to the new iOS 7, many have been furiously deleting photos, music, apps and other data from their phones to make room for the 3 GB update.
If you buy your iPhone with a contract, you will pay less initially for the phone. You can calculate over time whether that saves you money over buying the phone without contract and choosing a lower cost monthly plan.
Prices in the US
iPhone 5s Pricing and availability:
With a two-year contract –
- 16 GB $199
- 32 GB $299
- 64 GB $399
Without a contract –
- 16 GB $649
- 32 GB $749
- 64 GB $849
iPhone 5c Pricing:
With a two-year contract:
- 16 GB $99
- 32 GB $199
Without a contract –
- 16 GB $549
- 32 GB $649
Where to Buy the iPhone 5s and 5c
Apple Stores may have the longest lines, but they also will have the biggest inventory, increasing the chances that you will:
- get an iPhone
- get the iPhone you want
Apple stores will also help you set up your new phones and transfer data. Some people prefer to buy their phones in Apple stores for the experience. Others want to maximize their chances of getting their first choice phones.
Your carrier’s local store may have iPhone inventory. If the line at the Apple store stretches through the mall, head to your carrier’s store first to see if you can grab a phone without the wait. In the US, the iPhone 5s and 5c will be available at AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint stores.
Apple Authorized Resellers
If the Apple store isn’t an option and your carrier store doesn’t have enough inventory, all is not lost. Stores such as Best Buy, RadioShack and Walmart carry the iPhone and may be your best bet to get the phone you want. Target will be selling the iPhone 5s and 5c at 1500 of their stores.
You can find which stores near you in the US carry the iPhone by heading to the Apple website and clicking on Where to Buy and then click at the bottom of the page for the Authorized Resellers page. Under Sales, choose iPhone, enter your location and let the site search for resellers near you.
In Canada, check out the Apple website to see a list of retailers offering the new iPhones.
Apple Store App
Download the free Apple Store App to your device to order your new iPhone. Log in using your Apple ID and choose the model you wish to purchase.
If you want to avoid chasing around to different stores in search of your ideal iPhone, try online shopping. Visit websites such as the Apple store and your carrier to order your iPhone. You won’t be able to get your phone immediately, but you may be able to get your preferred model and color if you’re willing to wait for delivery.
Not all retailers are offering the same price for the iPhone.
Walmart is selling the iPhone 5c 16 GB for $89 and the iPhone 5s 16 GB for $189, a $10 savings off of the retail price. Starting September 21, Walmart and Sam’s Club will be offering up a cell phone trade in program for a credit of up to $300 towards the purchase of a new phone.
Target’s website lists the 16 GB iPhone 5c at $79 with a two-year contract.
Sprint is offering $100 off of the price of any new phone for new customers who sign a two-year contract. You can get the 16 GB iPhone 5c for free and the 16 GB iPhone 5s for $99. This $100 price reduction adds up to $4.17 per month over the two-year contract, so only switch to Sprint if that is your best choice beyond the $100 savings.
In Japan, carrier Docomo is offering the iPhone 5s for free with a two-year contract.
Check out different carrier deals in the UK to know which deals to get. See, ZD Net, iPhone 5c, 5s: Where’s the cheapest place to get them in the UK?.
For Canada, check out Canadian iPhone 5S & 5C contract pricing, availability announced.
For an extensive list of prices in Australia for the iPhone 5s and 5c, check out Lifehacker, Planhacker: Every Australian iPhone 5s/5c Contract Plan. See, iDownload Blog, iPhone 5s sales go live in Australia with 7-10 day shipping estimates
Are you planning to get a new iPhone? Which model are you getting? Are you going to try to buy one right away or are you going to wait until the fervor subsides? Or are you scratching your head and wondering why all the hoopla? Let us know in the Comments section below!
Also read: Apple Debuts Two New iPhones — 5c and 5s