The iPhone 12 is arriving at last, and it’s coming with 5G support, a new sleek design, and four different models to choose from. But if you already know that the iPhone 12 is the phone for you, you may be most interested in getting an order in ASAP. Here’s everything you need to know about when and how to do it!
Pre-order date and pricing
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro will be open for pre-orders at 5 a.m. PDT on October 16, 2020, (a Friday). There’s no telling how fast pre-orders will go or how many units are available for pre-order, so if you’re very serious about this, then you’ll want to start as early as possible.
If you’re looking for the iPhone 12 Mini or iPhone 12 Pro Max, then it’s bad news — Apple won’t be opening pre-orders for the mini and maxi models until November 6, so you’ve got a while to wait.
To pre-order the iPhone 12 Mini or iPhone 12, visit Apple’s site here.
To pre-order the iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 12 Pro Max, visit Apple’s site here.
Other online shopping sites like Best Buy or Target should also have various models for pre-order at the release date (they currently don’t have iPhone 12 pages live, though no doubt have some prepared), but Apple is generally the most reliable way to make a pre-order.
When pre-ordering, you will have to make all the specification decisions before completing your purchase, so it’s important to know what you want ahead of time — starting, of course, with which of the four iPhone 12 models you want. Here are several other important choices Apple will have you make:
Your iPhone color/finish: Note that the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini has one set of colors — white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)Red, but the two Pro Max iPhones have a different set to choose from — Graphite, gold, silver, and Pacific Blue.
Your carrier: Choose from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon. You can also choose SIM-free to activate later as you please.
Storage space: For the two cheaper iPhones, Apple wants you to choose between 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB. For the more expensive Pro Max iPhone 12 models, the choices are between 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. Apple is the best choice for customizing your storage and carrier options since other sites do not always give you these steps.
If you want AppleCare: There are a few different AppleCare packages you can choose from for extended warranties if you prefer.
What else to pre-order with the iPhone 12
When pre-ordered your iPhone 12, it’s a good idea to also pre-order any accessories that you consider mandatory for using your phone.
Note that the iPhone 12 ships with a USB-C to Lightning cable charging cable. If your charging needs are different, you will need to buy an additional cable yourself. This could be important if you were intending to rely on a Lightning cable to Lightning cable connection on your MacBook or if your computer/battery accessory depends on USB-A ports instead.
Also, this is all that the iPhone 12 ships with. There will be no power adapter — only the cable itself. If you want to buy a new adapter, too, you’ll have to do it separately — we have a list of the best iPhone chargers that can help with that.
There also will be no Earpods (not to be confused with the more advanced AirPods) included in the shipment, as there have been in the past. Apple is cutting off accessories like these to help control their carbon footprint, but if you are expecting new earbuds with your phone, you’ll have to get them another way.
Looking for deals
If you want to pre-order an iPhone 12 but also really want to save money, there are a few steps we advise you to consider before you click the buy button:
Trading in your old iPhone: Apple says you can get up to $250 off the cheaper iPhone 12 models with a trade and up to $370 off the iPhone 12 Pro or 12 Pro Max, based on what iPhone you are trading in. Apple also makes it really easy to trade-in, with an option to complete the process as you pre-order (you’ll need to your iPhone model number). This is the easiest way to save.
Special offers from carriers: When you pick a carrier during your pre-order process, you may see a tag for the carrier that says Special Offers Available. This means that the carrier is offering an additional discount that you can save more with. AT&T, for example, is shaving off a clean $30 from the iPhone 12 if you’re activating an AT&T account for it. Verizon is giving you bill credits and additional financing options with an Unlimited Plan. And carriers also tend to have their own trade-in programs, which can be very useful if you are switching to the iPhone from a different brand.
Online store deals: These aren’t guaranteed during the pre-order window, but they’re always worth watching out for. Big online sites, especially sites like Target or Wal-Mart, tend to offer Apple device deals as the holidays approach. These usually involve gift cards and are a great way to save if you were planning on making additional purchases anyway. Keep an eye open for them!