Waiting in Line for iPhone X? Check Out These Tips

With iPhone X delivery estimates now at five to six weeks for all carriers, colors, and capacities, customers who want an iPhone X but didn’t pre-order will need to wait until well into December to get their hands on one of the new devices.

There’s still one way to get an iPhone X on launch day – waiting in line. Apple says there will be iPhone X models available for walk-in purchases, but if pre-orders are any indication, supplies are going to be tight. Stores are opening starting at 8:00 a.m. local time for iPhone X sales.

If you’re planning to try for an iPhone X this Friday, make sure to check out these tips to maximize your chances of success.

Pick Your Store

Strategically choosing where you’re going to wait in line for an iPhone X is the most important part of the process. If you’re in a more remote area without a lot of options this isn’t up for debate, but in urban areas where there are a range of Apple Stores, carrier stores, and big box retailers to choose from, it takes a little more thought.

Apple Stores are going to have the most available iPhone X stock, but will also have more people waiting in line than carrier stores or major retailers. In the United States, Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile stores will have the iPhone X available for purchase, as will Target and Best Buy locations.

The Palo Alto Apple Store


If you’ve waited in line for an iPhone before, you probably have insight into some of the better locations. In the Bay Area, for example, we have dozens of stores to choose from, but Palo Alto and San Francisco tend to get the most stock. Flagship stores like San Francisco are often well stocked, but draw a lot of customers, while indoor locations like Valley Fair are popular. Smaller Apple Stores like Oakridge and Los Gatos are often more overlooked, and I’ve picked up several launch day items at the former.

These examples are limited to my area, but the same thing goes for every location. Think about how populated an area is, what the waiting conditions are like, and how many iPhones are likely to be available to try to find the best spot. There are hidden gems out there.

If you haven’t waited in line before, ask around for suggestions. The MacRumors forums are a good resource to get tips and chat with others who are going to be waiting in line.

Apple Store employees aren’t going to give out details on the amount of stock that will be available, but sometimes you can get lucky with a third-party retailer, so if you’re going to choose a carrier or a big box store, it’s worth calling ahead just to check.

Go Early

Once you’ve decided on a location, the best advice I can give is go early. iPhone X pre-orders sold out in minutes, so it definitely looks like stock is low. The last thing you want to do is line up at 4:00 a.m. and wait for hours just to not get a new device.

If you can manage it, this is one of those launches where going the night before or even earlier is going to give you the best chance of getting an iPhone X.

An iPhone 7 line on the Wednesday before launch, via Olaenglund


Again, though, this is going to depend on location. Starting the morning before the iPhone X launch, go scout your target store. Drive by to see if there are people waiting outside. It’s best to do this a few times during the day, if possible. Once you see a line start forming, that should give you an indication of when you need to be there.

For some launches, I’ve gone early in the morning and been okay, but for others, I’ve waited overnight and still not gotten a device. It’s better to wait a few additional hours and get a spot closer to the front of the line.

Bring a Friend

Waiting in line is better with a friend because if you need to step out of the line to use the restroom or grab a bite to eat, there’s someone to hold your place. It also gives you someone to chat and commiserate with as you stand outside for hours on end. MacRumors readers often plan iPhone launch day meet ups on the forums, and that can be a good way to find someone to wait in line with.

Bring Supplies

If you’re going to be waiting for several hours or camping out overnight, supplies are essential. You’re going to want a comfortable chair to sit in first and foremost, so bring something that’s portable but not uncomfortable, like a beach chair.

Dressing for the weather is important, so check the forecast. Dress warmly in layers so you’re prepared for the cold overnight or in the early morning. A jacket, warm boots, gloves, and a scarf will make standing in the cold more bearable if you’re waiting someplace chilly. If it’s going to rain, bring a raincoat and an umbrella.



Make sure you bring snacks and something to drink, along with entertainment. Charge your iPhone and iPad and bring a battery pack or two if you have them.



Some people bring tents to camp out overnight, but that’s a lot of equipment to deal with when it comes time to pack up. Still, if you’re waiting for more than 12 hours, it’s worth considering.

Apple employees will often provide drinks and snacks in the morning, but employees aren’t out overnight so you should bring your own supplies too.

You can’t bring a bathroom with you, so make sure you scout out the nearest bathroom locations.

Get to Know Your Line Buddies

When you’re waiting in line, make friends. Get to know the people you’re with, and get a feel for how many people are ahead of you. Lines will undoubtedly swell as it gets closer to the 8:00 a.m. launch time as people who have been saving spots have more people join them.

Line swelling can be super frustrating, so it’s worth being aware of ahead of time. Find out if the people around you are saving spots so there are no surprises. If you make line friends, you also have someone to save your spot if you need to step out of line.

Know What You Want

Before 8:00 a.m., store employees will likely come out, suss out the line, ask what color and capacity you want, and let you know if there’s enough available supply to fill demand. Make sure you know what you want and what your backup plan is so this process goes quickly and smoothly.



Make sure you’re an authorized user on your phone account if it’s a shared plan, and have your payment method planned out and ready. You don’t want to run into any hiccups with ordering after waiting in line.

This is also about the time that you should start packing up your supplies and getting ready to head into the store to make a purchase. Most stores will let customers in a few at a time, but from here, the checkout and purchase process should go smoothly.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer’s Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

Discuss this article in our forums

These leather Apple Watch bands are hand-colored for fall [Watch Store]

Ullu offers up a vibrant assortment of handcrafted leather bands for Apple Watch, perfect for fall styling. For Halloween, treat yourself to 20 percent off any of Ullu’s Hand-Colored or Premium Leather bands. Based in Dubai, Ullu loves luxury and embraces the finer things. Its bands are made by hand from Italian full-grain calf’s leather. Each […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

These leather Apple Watch bands are hand-colored [Watch Store]

Ullu offers up a vibrant assortment of handcrafted leather bands for Apple Watch, perfect for fall styling. For Halloween, treat yourself to 20 percent off any of Ullu’s Hand-Colored or Premium Leather bands. Based in Dubai, Ullu loves luxury and embraces the finer things. Its bands are made by hand from Italian full-grain calf’s leather. Each […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

Boo from Ullu! Take 20 percent off select Apple Watch bands today [Watch Store]

Ullu offers up a vibrant assortment of handcrafted leather bands for Apple Watch, perfect for fall styling. For Halloween, treat yourself to 20 percent off any of Ullu’s Hand-Colored or Premium Leather bands until midnight. Based in Dubai, Ullu’s philosophy on product creation is a nod to the finer things in life — a perfect pairing […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

Boo from Ullu! Take 20 percent off select Apple Watch bands today only [Watch Store]

Perfect for your fall styling, Ullu offers up a vibrant assortment of handcrafted leather bands for Apple Watch. And, for Halloween treat yourself to 20 percent off any of Ullu’s Hand-Colored or Premium Leather bands until midnight. Based in Dubai, Ullu’s philosophy on product creation is a nod to the finer things in life — a […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

Review: CalDigit AV Pro 2 Combines External USB-C Storage With a USB Hub and 30W of Charging Power

CalDigit recently launched its AV Pro 2 storage hub, a USB-C accessory that serves not only as an external drive with up to 8 TB of storage, but also acts a peripheral hub with two additional Type-A USB 3.0 ports and can charge a connected computer at up to 30 watts.



The AV Pro 2 is available in a range of capacities in both traditional 7200 rpm hard drive and solid-state drive models, ranging from 3 TB to 8 TB for the HDD models and coming in at 1 TB or 2 TB for the SSD models. I’ve been able to spend time with a 3 TB HDD model, and I’ve come away impressed with its capabilities. Stepping up to an SSD model would offer even more performance, although at substantially higher cost and lower capacities.

Overview

The AV Pro 2 can be oriented either vertically or horizontally, with small cushioning pads provided on one of the large faces for horizontal placement. For vertical placement, CalDigit includes a clear plastic stand, also equipped with cushioning pads, to provide stability.

A large green LED power button is located on the front of the AV Pro 2, making it easy to turn the drive on and off. The LED shines steady when there is an active connection, flashes while the drive is being accessed, and turns off when the drive goes to sleep, keeping you informed of its status and helping protect against data loss. As always, you should eject the drive from your system before physically disconnecting it, and you can use either the built-in eject function in macOS or a dedicated menu bar utility from CalDigit.

MacBook Pro with AV Pro 2 and Tuff external drive


CalDigit is still in the process of finalizing the utility software for the AV Pro 2 and it should be available as a download from the company’s support site “in a few weeks,” although I was able to use CalDigit’s existing menu bar utility for other docking stations and it worked fine with the AV Pro 2.

The AV Pro 2 itself measures 9.5 inches deep by 5.8 inches wide by 1.8 inches tall (in horizontal orientation), and weighs approximately 4.37 pounds. It’s not light, as there is quite a bit of aluminum making up the enclosure and the drive module, plus the drive itself and the electronics inside the enclosure.

It certainly has a hefty feel, so this is something you’re going to want to leave on a desk rather than take with you unless absolutely necessary. The enclosure is made of a silver brushed aluminum that matches Apple’s Mac finishes, with aluminum ribbing along the narrow sides.

Storage Drive

One of the great features of the AV Pro 2 is the removable drive module, which is compatible with both traditional hard drives and solid-state drives in 3.5-inch form factors. The removable module, which is fairly rare in a single-drive system, offers flexibility for easily moving the drive to and from other enclosures or managing multiple drives, and is fully compatible with some of CalDigit’s other storage products such as the T4 RAID array line.

Traditional hard drive options for the AV Pro 2 include 3 TB, 4 TB, 5 TB, 6 TB, and 8 TB capacities, and CalDigit advertises speeds up to 200 MB/s for these models. In my testing, the HDD model came close to that 200 MB/s mark for both read and write. CalDigit says the 1 TB and 2 TB solid-state drive models max out at 430 MB/s.



The AV Pro 2 includes support for USB attached SCSI protocol (UASP), which can improve single-drive storage device performance by allowing for simultaneous bidirectional commands and thus faster transfers.

The drives arrive pre-formatted for Mac in HFS+ format, although they can obviously be re-formatted as needed.

Swapping out the drive module is a simple two-step process involving a pair of keys provided in the box. The first step is to use the larger drive key to gently twist a drive module lock counterclockwise to unlock it, and then inserting the smaller drive pin into the release hole to release a large spring-loaded lever on the front of the module that can then be easily grasped to pull the module out.



Installing a drive module is even simpler, only requiring you to slide the module in while making sure the lever catches the rim of the enclosure opening and then snapping the lever closed. A quick twist on the module lock with the drive key secures it.

With a spinning hard drive and a small fan inside the AV Pro 2, there is a little bit of noise while the disk is active, but it’s not overly distracting. When the disk goes to sleep, the AV Pro 2 is silent.

Ports

The AV Pro 2 includes a USB-C port and a USB Micro B port, both on the 5 Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 1 standard, and CalDigit includes a 0.5-meter USB-C to USB-C cable and a 1-meter USB Micro B to USB-A cable in the box to allow you to connect to both the latest USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 computers and older computers offering only legacy USB-A ports.



The AV Pro 2 also includes a mini USB hub built into it, consisting of a pair of USB 3.0 Type-A ports on the rear of the enclosure. The Type-A ports can be used to connect peripherals such as mice and keyboards, add additional hard drives, or even daisy chain more AV Pro 2 units. The USB ports also include support for Apple’s external SuperDrive, and they can provide up to 1.5A/7.5W of standalone charging, so you can recharge an iPhone or other device even if the AV Pro 2 isn’t connected to a computer.

I tested CalDigit’s fast Tuff external SSD hooked up to one of the AV Pro 2’s rear USB ports, and I saw speedy data transfers from my MacBook Pro in the range of 425 MB/s read and write. That performance is actually surprisingly fast considering the connection is only 5 Gbps USB 3.0 and has the AV Pro 2 between the Tuff and the computer.



Beyond its various USB ports, the rear of the AV Pro 2 also includes a DC-in port for the power supply connection, a vent for the small fan to keep things cool, and a Kensington lock slot if you wish to secure the AV Pro 2.

USB-C Power

While MacBook owners will appreciate the 30 watts of power the AV Pro 2 can supply to their computers over a USB-C connection, MacBook Pro owners may find it coming up a bit short depending on their usage patterns, as the 13-inch MacBook Pro can draw up to 60 watts while the 15-inch model can draw up to 87 watts at peak demand.

I did test the charging capabilities of the AV Pro 2 with a Late 2016 15-inch MacBook Pro, and over the course of a workday the AV Pro 2 was able to keep my Mac topped off at 100 percent charge. Granted, I wasn’t doing any heavy lifting like video processing with my Mac, but for moderate uses the AV Pro 2 can actually keep up with or at the very least significantly slow the rate of battery discharge.

I asked CalDigit why the AV Pro 2 is limited to 30 watts of charging power, and a representative told me it was a combination of factors. For many users like myself, 30 watts is actually enough. Boosting power output to 60 or 85 watts would require a much larger power supply, and given the relatively small size of the AV Pro 2 as a single-drive storage device, a larger power supply would be an extra cost and a bit of an inconvenience. The AV Pro 2 already includes a 60-watt power adapter, with 30 watts going to the drive itself and 30 watts able to be passed through to a connected computer.

From a more general perspective, CalDigit views storage as being the primary function of the AV Pro 2, with the charging capabilities being a bonus. Under many circumstances, 30 watts will be enough to keep even a MacBook Pro topped off, but if you’re putting your machine under heavy loads or need to recharge a depleted battery quickly, you’ll want to use a higher-powered charger.

A customer will get the convenience of single cable charging but if they’re in a rush they’ll need to connect the factory charger. It’s really only for instances when someone needs to charge quickly before they go somewhere. When working with the files on the AV Pro 2 or overnight charging they won’t see much difference.

While tradeoffs in size and component costs are understandable, it’s still a bit disappointing that the AV Pro 2 can’t fully support charging a MacBook Pro over a single USB-C connection. It seems that it would likely be sufficient as an everyday power source for my needs, even with a 15-inch MacBook Pro, but it definitely wouldn’t be for users with heavier workloads, and for many users it could be hard to tell until they really spend some time with it.

Wrap-up

Pricing on the AV Pro 2 starts at $249.99 for a 3 TB HDD model, with higher-capacity options available at 4 TB ($299.99), 5 TB ($349.99), 6 TB ($399.99) and 8 TB ($449.99). If you’re looking for faster speeds but with lower capacities, CalDigit offers the 1 TB SSD model for $549.99 while the 2 TB SSD model costs $849.99. All models come with a one-year warranty.

CalDigit is currently offering a 15 percent discount on all capacities through November 6 simply for signing up for the company’s newsletter through a pop-over on the AV Pro 2 product page.

Amazon is currently knocking $50 off of several of the lower-capacity models including 3 TB, 4 TB, and 5 TB HDD options for an even better deal, although stock is quite limited.

CalDigit also offers extra drive modules bundled with HDDs ranging from 1 TB ($109.99) to 6 TB ($349.99). Standalone SSD modules will be available in 1 TB ($449.99) and 2 TB ($749.99) capacities, and they should be added to CalDigit’s site in the very near future. Each package also includes an archive box for storing and organizing extra modules.

Note: CalDigit provided the AV Pro 2 to MacRumors free of charge for the purposes of this review. No other compensation was received. MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon and may earn commissions on purchases made through links in this article.

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple to Reopen iPhone X Reservations Starting November 4 Outside of United States

In addition to pre-orders and limited in-store availability for walk-in customers starting Friday, Apple will also begin accepting reservations for the iPhone X starting this weekend in several countries outside the United States.



Reserve and Pickup will open Saturday, November 4 at 6:00 a.m. local time in Australia, Belgium, and the United Kingdom, and at 8:00 a.m. local time on the same day in Canada, Hong Kong, Mexico, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates.

In those countries, customers should be able to select the iPhone X color and storage capacity they want and reserve that model for pickup at the Apple retail store they specify. The models available, if any, will vary by location.

Other countries where Apple retail stores operate may be included, but we couldn’t find other region-specific links yet.

Unlike the standard in-store pickup option offered during the checkout process on Apple’s website, which requires paying upfront for the device, the Reserve and Pickup system lets customers pay for the device in store upon pickup.

Reserve and Pickup also lets customers bypass the current 5-6 weeks shipping estimate of pre-ordering with in-store pickup.

The pickup generally must be completed within a 30-minute window selected, or else the reservation may be canceled. A valid government-issued photo ID must be shown at the store, and there’s a max of two reservations per customer.

The availability of SIM-free iPhone X models for reservations will vary on a country-by-country basis. Last year, for example, SIM-free iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models could be reserved in Canada.

Reserve and Pickup page for iPhone 7 Plus last year in Canada


Apple confirmed to us that Reserve and Pickup will not be available in the United States, but standard, pay-ahead in-store pickup is available.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer’s Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

Discuss this article in our forums