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iPhone 12 Pre-Orders: How to Prepare

Over the years, standing in line for an iPhone in front of your local Apple Store on launch day has shifted to frantically refreshing the Apple online store checkout page to pre-order an iPhone from the comfort of your home.

If you consider the strain that COVID-19 has put on product availability, as well as our ability to even pick up an iPhone at a retail store, getting an iPhone 12 on launch day could be more difficult than ever. So this year, every shortcut counts when rushing to get your online iPhone 12 pre-order confirmed by Apple.

Apple has recognized the increased need to pre-order an iPhone 12 online with a tool that will let you prepare your order ahead of time, though there are some limits. Read on for details.

When Can I Pre-Order an iPhone 12?

iphone 12 lineup

Apple is staggering its release of the different iPhone 12 models this year.

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro pre-orders start on at 8 a.m. ET / 5 a.m. PT. The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max pre-orders begin at 8 a.m. ET / 5 a.m. PT.

If you’re unsure which iPhone 12 model is right for you, we broke down the differences, and here’s what photography enthusiasts should consider.

iPhone 12 Release Date

iphone and 12 logo atop four iphones

The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro arrive on Friday, Oct. 23 in Australia, China, Germany, Japan, the UK, and the US. They will be available in India, South Korea, and more than a dozen other countries beginning .

The iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 mini are in stores beginning .

Prepare Your Pre-Order

prepare iphone 12 preorder

From now, you can go through a “pre pre-order” phase for iPhone 12 and 12 Pro that lets you prep everything ahead of time so all you need to do is hit purchase once pre-order time rolls around.

Open the Apple Store app on your current iPhone or iPad and sign into your account. In the Featured section of the app, tap the header. You are instructed to go through the typical process of selecting your iPhone 12 model, color/finish, carrier (or unlocked), capacity, and whether you have a device to trade in.

In order to “save” your prepared pre-order, you must select and go through the process of agreeing to a monthly installment payment plan, then confirming your current Apple Card. If you don’t have an Apple Card, you will be required to go through the process of applying for an Apple Card monthly installment plan.

I could not get the process to complete by selecting the one-time payment option. Even though I would prefer to pay in full at a later date, I could not find a way to select that as an option up front. My speculation is you will have the option to pay in full once your order is complete and you receive your iPhone 12. 

apple card payments

If you’re willing to go the Apple Card/installment plan route to set up your pre-order, opt in/out of Apple Care and select and add your selection to your account. The next page will give you a breakdown of the steps you’ve already taken to choose your device, and the remaining steps to complete your pre-order.

Selecting Continue on this page only confirms your device selection and your method of payment. , so be sure to set those alarms and get your iPhone 12 pre-order trigger fingers ready. 

View Your Pre-Order

siri pre-order reminder

Now that you have confirmed your pre-pre-order, view your confirmation in the For You section of the Apple Store app. You will also receive an email confirmation. Within those confirmations, you can add the pre-order start dates to your calendar, as well as add a Siri Shortcut to open the Apple Store app and take you directly to your pre pre-order for an even faster checkout.

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