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Now that Apple’s(s aapl) iPhone 5s is more or less sold out in stores, what’s the easiest way to get one? Online ordering was always an option if you wanted your new handset shipped directly to you. On Monday, Apple will reportedly be adding the in-store Personal Pickup option for new iPhone orders.
I heard this directly from an Apple Store employee on Sunday morning at my local store. She confirmed that every iPhone 5s the store received was sold, save for the display models, of course. I explained that I ordered one online on early Friday morning just 30 minutes after availability: At that time, there was already a 7-10 day wait for shipping with an estimated delivery date of October 8 to 11. That’s when she mentioned the Personal Pickup option.
She wouldn’t confirm when any new iPhone 5s stock would arrive in-store but did tell me that I’d likely get my iPhone 5s faster by ordering and choosing the Personal Pickup option tomorrow. I’ll likely wait and see if her information was correct; if so, I’ll create a new iPhone 5s order and cancel the original.
I expect that if Apple does announce the new Personal Pickup option on Monday, it would be in tandem with weekend sales of the new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.
The option for in-store pickup makes sense to me. Apple Stores are obviously going to get more stock sooner than the online availability dates: Currently, all iPhone 5s models from Apple’s online store suggest October availability. And Apple would prefer that customers come into retail stores to get their new iPhone instead of having them delivered: More foot traffic equals more opportunity for up-sells and product cross-sells.
Bear in mind, this is just one report from one Apple Store employee. I can’t see why she’d tell me something like this if she didn’t have knowledge of it, however. We’ll see tomorrow if Apple adds support for in-store pickup for online orders.
By the way, this was the first time I got a chance to use the new iPhone 5s. In just a few minutes I was impressed by the new camera and the Touch ID sensor. Using the demo app, Touch ID worked flawlessly and fast after setup, both when touching the sensor with my thumb horizontally and vertically.
Update at 5:25am, September 23: I just checked the online store and see the new “Check Availability” link and Personal Pickup option. No new stock at this time in my area, which I expected: