As a subscriber to the Apple Upgrade Program, I got an email from Apple around 2:16 AM Central this morning:

Pre-order for iPhone 8 starts on 9.15. Get all the prep work done now with the Apple Store app on your iPhone to save time at pre-order — when every minute counts.

“When every minute counts!” Apple knows that this middle-of-the-night frenzy is going to result in winners and losers. There aren’t enough devices for everyone initially. Certain configurations of capacity, carrier, and color are going to sell out within the first few seconds of the store opening up. And so Apple’s going to help the people who want to put the effort it to be sure they’re there first. The email goes on:

Take a little time now. Save a lot of time at pre-order.

Why would it take less time now to do the same steps as it would at pre-order? First, the servers will be slower then, because everyone’s going to be pounding on them. If you set your order up now, you’ll only have to make one HTTP request1 at the time of pre-order: the final confirmation. But I think there’s a second reason. By doing it now, you’re saving a lot of calendar time too, potentially. When these phones sell out at pre-order, it’ll be weeks or more before Apple gets more of them in stock.

Anyway, these are the steps:

  1. Open the Apple Store app on your iPhone.
  2. Choose your preferred model and get preapproved for your iPhone Upgrade Program loan.
  3. Come back to complete your upgrade on 9.15.

I don’t recall the Apple Store iOS app offering this level of preparation, but I like it a lot. It also removes the concern about making mistakes (or hair-brained last-minute changes of mind) in a half-asleep frenzy.

  1. I’m making assumptions here, based on how the architecture would work in an ideal API. In real life you very well may be triggering a few calls. ↩︎