iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus pre-orders began at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time or 3:01 a.m. Eastern Time today, and hours later, shipping estimates for select models have slipped to late September or early October for some models.
Fortunately, if you weren't willing to wake up at those hours or haven't yet pre-ordered for another reason, there's still a chance to get an iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus in your hands when they launch next Friday.
In the United States and other countries where Apple retail stores operate, such as Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, many iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus models remain available for in-store pickup on September 22.
Even if a particular iPhone model isn't estimated to be delivered on launch day, it appears some units will still be reserved for in-store pickup.
An iPhone 8 Plus in Space Gray with 64GB of storage on T-Mobile, for example, is currently estimated to ship in 3-4 weeks on Apple's online store. Yet, the device is available for pickup on September 22 at multiple Apple retail stores.
Once you proceed to the checkout and click the blue "check out" button, select "pick up" and change the store location if necessary. Then click "continue" and select a 30-minute check-in window for your pickup.
If you will be picking up the iPhone personally, enter your phone number. If someone else will be arranging the pickup, enter his or her contact information. The person making the pickup must be carrying a valid photo ID.
Then, proceed with the checkout process as usual. Once payment has been made, wait until you receive a pickup notification email or text message by September 22 before picking up the iPhone. If you don't receive one, call the store.
Since the iPhone is paid for ahead of time, the store should presumably hold the device in its back room until you arrive.
Of course, another option is to simply wait until next Friday and walk into an Apple store, preferably right when they open. You may have to wait in line, but the queues have typically been shorter in recent years.
You can use the pickup tool on Apple's website on launch day to check if stores in your local area have stock, or call the store directly.
All in all, there are more than a few days to ensure you get your new iPhone on launch day, even if you missed the pre-order boat. In fact, select color, storage, and carrier combinations are still available for delivery by September 22.
If you would rather wait for the iPhone X, pre-orders of that device start October 27.