How to get a new iPhone the first day on sale

These tips may help you be among the first to get hold of a new iPhone when it goes on sale, though I can't guarantee they'll work for you.

Apple will introduce its updated iPhone models at a special event Sept. 12. There is so much interest around the new range that once the devices do go on sale, they are likely to sell out fast. How can you maximize your chance to buy one of the all-new models when they first appear?

Think Glastonbury

On a slightly smaller scale, grabbing Glastonbury Festival tickets is a little like getting hold of a new iPhone: Thousands and thousands of people all scramble to purchase tickets online from the moment they go on sale. The exact same thing happens when new iPhones ship — tens of thousands of people worldwide all scramble to purchase the devices from the moment they go on sale. So, how do you go about getting to the front of the virtual queue? The following tips might help you out.

Register on the Apple store first

When you purchase a product through Apple’s online store, you’ll need to create an account and enter a credit card as part of the sale procedure. That makes sense, but when tens of thousands of people are all hammering the system to purchase the same product, it makes sense to minimize any potential friction.

One thing that might help is to create your Apple store account the day before the devices go on sale, entering payment details and so on. This reduces the chance of Apple selling its last stocks of the smartphone before you finish your order. Also, do make sure you have enough money on your card — you really don’t want to get to the end of the purchasing process only to see your payment declined.

Use a wired connection

When it comes to purchasing Glastonbury tickets, I’ve noticed better success getting into the system when you use a wired internet connection rather than using wireless. The faster the connection you have, the better your chances of racing ahead of the digital queue, and you can accelerate the journey between your computer and the online store just by using a wired connection. I’m sure many will scoff at this, but I’m convinced it helps. Just plug your computer into your router using Ethernet, and hope for the best.

If on mobile, turn off Wi-Fi

One exception to the Wi-Fi/wired matter is mobile. Some Glastonbury Festival veterans believe they have more chance getting through when they use a 4G or 3G connection on their mobile device. It may be worth putting this to the test by disabling Wi-Fi on your existing smartphone and seeing if that device will make it to the Apple ordering process.

Use multiple browsers

Don’t use multiple tabs in one browser to try to get ahead of the pack. Most browsers share session information for a website between all the tabs trying to access the site. Not only does using multiple tabs to access the same site make little difference, but because the information is shared, you may actually make it just a little harder for yourself. You may see some success with another Glastonbury ticketing tip: Use multiple browsers, e.g. Firefox, Chrome and Safari.

Use multiple devices

How many Macs, PCs, and mobile devices do you have? It may make sense to put them all to work in order to get to the front of the Apple online retail queue. Perhaps you can get friends of family members to handle some of these machines as you race to get hold of the next-generation iPhone. Don’t forget to make sure all the systems you intend to use are fully charged — you really don’t want your system to power down just when you get to the Buy button.

Refresh often

You’ll probably need to keep tapping the Refresh button. Alternatively, use an app such as Refreshinator or browser extensions such as AutoRefresh Plus or AutoRefresh Extension. Get to know how these tools work first, though, as some require you to set some criteria for the page you are trying to reach.

Unresponsive site?

If Apple’s site becomes unresponsive during the purchasing process, don’t panic — just press the back button once and continue the purchase from there. If that doesn’t work or the site hangs, you’ll need to quit the browser before relaunching it and attempting the process all over again. Sorry about that.

Stay positive

Remember, it’s not unusual for Apple’s site to be overwhelmed when it puts new iPhones on sale. Over the years, I’ve seen many disappointed shoppers complain when they can’t get through. Be patient, keep trying, and hope for the best.

Get physical

If you can’t get hold of an iPhone when they are made available online, you’ll still have the option of trying to purchase one in a store. Most Apple users find themselves waiting in line at their local Apple retail store. That’s good because most stores get decent allocation of the new devices, but it’s also bad because there are never enough units for everyone and queues sometimes start to form days before.

Shop elsewhere

One way to increase your chances of picking up a new iPhone is to visit an authorized retailer for your carrier. These shops usually have a few handsets to sell, and you’ll often find they still have one or two in stock when everyone else sells out. Places such as BestBuy and RadioShack may also be worth a visit.

Be prepared

If you are lucky enough to get hold of one of the first iPhones to hit the market, what should you do next? The article, "Your upgrade season guide to buying or selling older iPhones," guides you through the upgrade process, and "iPhone 8? 4 Ways to Sell Your iPhone" provides options if you decide to sell your older device to help finance the new one.

Good luck! 

Google+? If you use social media and happen to be a Google+ user, why not join AppleHolic's Kool Aid Corner community and join the conversation as we pursue the spirit of the New Model Apple?

Got a story? Drop me a line via Twitter. I'd like it if you chose to follow me there so I can let you know when fresh items are published here first on Computerworld.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon