Update: September 13, 2017: Apple announced that preorders of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will begin this Friday, September 15. The phones will be available in stores beginning September 22. You'll have to wait longer for the iPhone X — preorders don't begin until October 27 and the phones won't come to stores until November 3.
This article was originally published on September 11, 2017.
If you're a fan, buying the new iPhone is an experience akin to wanting an insanely popular product on sale on Black Friday: You'll find yourself awake at 3 a.m., repeatedly hitting refresh until your finger goes numb. You will feel frantic. And if history is any indication, the phone will sell out — fast.
Last year, pre-orders of the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 7 in jet black sold out within hours. The phones were in such high demand they didn't even show up in stores on the official on-sale date: shoppers could only get the iPhone 7 in silver, gold, matte black, or rose gold. If blush gold turns out to really be a new color of 2017's supposed iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, you can bet it's going to be one of the colors (if not the one) most people will want.
However, there are steps you can take ahead of time to up your chances of pre-ordering the iPhone you want as soon as it goes on sale.
Mark Your Calendar & Set Your Alarm
It might seem like a no-brainer, but if you really want the new iPhone you will need to get up in the middle of the night. If Apple sticks with the pre-order timing it did in 2016, it looks likely that you'll be able to get the phone just over two days after the September 12 event, beginning at 3:01 a.m. on Friday, September 15.
Download The App
Pick Your Model & Storage Size
3:01 am is not the time you want to be comparing cameras and thinking about if you really needed all of the 256 GB you had on your iPhone 7. In the days leading up to the pre-order after Apple announces the new phones, compare each of the new models to decide which you want, the color you want it in (and a second choice color in case your first choice sells out), and the amount of space you'll need ahead of time. For a more informed decision, check how much space you use on your current iPhone by going to Settings > General > iPhone Storage.
Decide How You'll Pay & What Extras You'll Want
Are you going to pay for the phone in monthly installments? Will you invest in the extra protection of AppleCare+? Do you want to be part of the iPhone Upgrade Program? These are all decisions to make ahead of time, since you will be asked them while checking out. If you're unsure if you joined the Upgrade Program when you bought your last iPhone, check ahead to find out and see if you're eligible to upgrade.
Have Your Carrier Information Ready
Also during checkout, you'll need to enter your billing zip code, the last four digits of your Social Security number, and your current phone number. If you're on a family plan, you may need the Social Security number for one of your parents (or whoever's name the account is under) — so make sure you have that information on hand, too.
Make Sure Your Apple Pay Is Good To Go
The easiest way to pay for your new iPhone is using Apple Pay with touch ID. Check that the credit card you want to use is uploaded by going to Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay. You can always add a different credit or debit card here as well.
Once all your decisions have been made and your credit cards are updated, the best you can do is wait, set that 3 a.m. alarm, and get to bed extra early the night before pre-orders begin.