Pre-orders for the iPhone 5, which was announced earlier this week, started at an ungodly hour this morning (12:00 am Pacific/3:00 am Eastern). If you weren’t too keen on staying awake or getting up that early to get in your pre-order and you’re out and about today and can’t easily get to a computer, there are apps that can help you out.
First up is the Apple Store app. Compared to Apple’s site in the wee hours of the morning on a pre-order day, Apple Store can often result in a successful pre-order with a minimal amount of effort. Just like Apple’s website, it will check your upgrade eligibility with your carrier and show you the appropriate pricing. However, if you’re switching to a different carrier, note that this app will not be able to handle those details and you’ll need to go to Apple’s full website for these more complex pre-orders.
If you’re with AT&T, I would normally point out the AT&T Upgrader app, which we recommended last year at the release of the iPhone 4S, as another option. However, AT&T appears to have recently removed it from the US App Store. There’s no official information on AT&T’s site explaining why it’s no longer in the App Store and I’ve heard no response from AT&T yet to my query about it’s removal.
UPDATE: The AT&T Updater app is now back in the App Store (thanks, Tom!):
However, if you had previously downloaded AT&T Upgrader when it was available and still have it on your iPhone or on your computer to sync back to your iPhone, you can use it to log in to your existing account, check your upgrade eligibility and place an order for a new iPhone, including the iPhone 5.
(If it’s not on your iPhone and you’re not near your computer to sync it back, you may be able to re-install it via iCloud using these instructions.)
While Sprint and Verizon both have account management apps in the App Store, neither lets you actually pre-order an iPhone 5, unfortunately. For those carriers, you’ll need to use their respective websites or use the Apple Store app (as long as you’re not switching from another carrier, as previously mentioned).
I had Siri set an alarm on my iPhone 4S to wake me up just before 3:00 am Eastern time this morning and the (not so) dulcet tones of the system Beep sound woke me up as scheduled. As with the iPhone 4S, Apple and AT&T were hit hard with a large number of pre-orders and it took me a little over a half hour to finally make it through all the way to the end using the Apple Store app to finalize my pre-order.
At the time of this post, delivery times are already slipping well past the original September 21 delivery date through Apple, Verizon, and AT&T. If you were hoping to get one on release day and haven’t placed your pre-order yet, you may have to try your luck by standing in line on that day. If you’re not concerned with getting one on September 21, the Apple Store app is a tried and true way to pre-order yours barring any system trouble on Apple’s or your selected carrier’s ends.