iPhone 5s, apple store. screen

UPDATE 02: TUAW is reporting that the online Apple Store will be back online for iPhone 5S orders at 12:01 am Pacific Time, 1:01 am Mountain Time, 2:01 am Central Time and 3:01 am Eastern Time.

When does the iPhone 5S go on sale? You can order one tonight from Apple’s online store. Which, as you can tell by the screenshot above is down right now. On a key day like today, that means something wonderful is up.

More on how, when, and strategies for landing yourself that blingy gold iPhone 5S after the jump. >>>

If you haven’t already, download the Apple Store app ( App Store link ) and set it up. Go ahead. I’ll wait….

The iPhone 5S should be available for order in 1-3 hours — no one really knows for certain. It may be 10:00 PM Pacific time. It may be midnight Pacific time.

The easiest, fastest best way to order an iPhone is on your iPhone itself using the Apple Store app. Although they go th the same servers eventually, for some reason, in the past, using the app, I’ve ordered my new iPhone in minutes, not the hours it can sometimes take in a desktop browser while the server gets pounded.

Supplies for the iPhone 5S are expected to be very tight. In my years of covering iPhones and releases, this seems to be the tightest availability for nay new iPhone yet. Speculation is that this is due to bottlenecks in manufacturing the new fingerprint sensor home button.

Be fast. Get in early. Have your credit cards handy. Getting online a couple of hours late could add weeks to the delivery of your new iPhone.

You can also order in a desktop browser at the Apple Store online here.

If you miss out tonight, you can always visit an Apple Store or authorized retailer for you mobile phone carrier. Know beforehand, though, that there will be huge lines, especially early on, and supplies of the iPhone 5S as well as certain colors of the iPhone 5C are very limited and will probably run out early. 9to5Mac is reporting that many retailers have said that there will be “almost no” silver and gold iPhone 5S available in-store on launch day.

If you want to chance waiting a few days, in the past, retail Apple Stores were more likely to get stock of new iPhones daily, even before the carrier’s retail outlets. For the launch of the iPhone 5, the difference between Apple and trying to get one at my local AT&T store in Arlington, Texas was weeks. Try checking your nearest Apple Store daily (and early) after the mobs thin out.

Huffington Post has a great article with more tips on how to get an iPhone 5S on launch day. Huh… Radio Shack. Who’d have thought?

I’ll be obsessively hitting refresh tonight. Good luck!


Have you got any other strategies for being the first to get a new iPhone? After you’ve snagged yours, share your tips in the comments below.