FAQ: How to score an iPhone 5 on Friday

What you need to know to score Apple's hot smartphone before you go crazy

By , Computerworld |  Consumerization of IT, iPhone 5

Will there be lines Friday? Does Tim Cook seem boring after Steve Jobs?

Lines have already formed at Apple stores, although in some instances, those sleeping and standing in the queue are using the platform to push a political agenda, publicize a blog or hype an app more than to purchase a new phone. At Apple's massive 5th Avenue store in New York, for instance, the line started forming last week.

I'm a 1%er.... Can I get someone from the 99% to wait in line for me Money may not buy happiness, but it can buy a spot. If you hustle, you may still be able to purchase a stand-in. On Craigslist, for example, people were selling their overnight spots today.

"I will stand in line for you at the Hillsdale Shopping Center Apple store tonight and be there until tomorrow morning so that you can come in and take my spot," read one offer posted today from the San Francisco area.

What countries get the iPhone 5 on Friday? Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, the U.K. and the U.S. -- nine altogether, two more than last year and four more than in 2010 when Apple launched the iPhone 4.

Customers in another 22 countries, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Spain, will have to wait until Sept. 28.

It sounds like it will be crazy on Friday. I'll wait a few days. Anything I need to know? Yes. Apple will likely replicate the practice of reserving an iPhone that it used last year.

Here's how it will probably work: You'll need to check an Apple store's inventory after 9 p.m. local time at a page Apple will set up. Assuming the model you want is in stock, you'll place a reservation hold, then head to the store the next day to choose a carrier and pick up the phone.

My wallet is still thinner than a politician's excuse. Is there anything I can get on the cheap? For $99, you can get a 16GB version of last year's iPhone 4S. And unlike the iPhone 5, the older iPhone 4S is in stock and ready to ship immediately. Want something for free? Apple and its carrier partners will hand you a two-year-old 8GB iPhone 4 gratis.

To qualify for those prices, you must commit to a two-year contract, of course. After all, nothing is really free.

Money's no object. What are my options? Try eBay.

As of early Thursday, there were hundreds of iPhone 5 smartphones listed on the auction site, with one as high as $3,500 and a slew at the relatively-bargain-basement price of $2,500. (Hey, at least those prices are lower than the $15,000 top eBay deal in 2010 for an iPhone 4.) The lowest "Buy It Now" price we found was $700 for a 16GB Verizon iPhone 5.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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