It looks like the people that stuck it out and waited in line for a new iPhone weren’t so crazy after all. Between a lack of pre-sales and a reported constrained supply, the iPhone 5s is proving very difficult to find in stores. But if you’re one of the many to walk away from an Apple Store empty handed, there’s still some hope. Plenty of other retailers and outlets carry the iPhone 5s, so it’s worth a look if you have the time.
Here’s a rundown of other places you might be able to pick up a new phone, in order from least likely to most likely. You should probably call to check before heading out, but expect phone lines to be pretty busy through at least the weekend.
Although carriers reportedly have even fewer iPhones on hand than the Apple store, it’s likely there were fewer people gathered in line to get one before the doors opened. Still, carrier stores are probably a popular second option, so expect lines and long waits either way.
Best Buy also carries the iPhone 5s and is a decent backup option. But again, this is probably the most likely target when Apple and the carrier stores run dry.
Now we’re getting a little more esoteric. You probably buy ibuprofen and paper towels from Target, but it’s less likely you choose it as your smartphone shopping destination. That makes it a good place to stop on your quest to find a new iPhone.
See the description for Target.
Let’s be real. Unless you need a new 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable on a Saturday afternoon, Radio Shack isn’t exactly a hotspot. And many people are likely to forget the retailer even sells phones, let alone offers the iPhone 5s. It’s worth a shot.
I woke up and ordered my iPhone 5s at 3AM on the east coast and was quoted a 1-3 day shipping time. The time for that same model has since risen to 7-10 days. That seems to be the case for all gray and silver models directly from Apple right now. If you don’t mind waiting, this is your easiest option. But no dice if you want a gold phone – those are on backorder until next month.
This is undoubtedly the least ideal way to score a new phone, but if you’re absolutely desperate, and you have upwards of $1000 to spend (judging by a quick survey of iPhone 5s availability in New York City), you can probably get a brand new iPhone in your hands within the hour. But you should always be wary of scammers, and make sure to meet in a public place to seal the deal.