Apple Discouraging People From Lining Up for iPhone 12 Launch With In-Person Reservation System

With the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro launching in the middle of a global pandemic, Apple is coming up with ways for people to purchase their new devices safely and without unnecessary exposure to the virus.

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Apple has been allowing ‌iPhone 12‌ orders to be placed for in store pickup, and in some locations, is implementing a bank teller-like Express system that allows for minimal exposure to other people. To deal with people lining up outside of stores to get an iPhone, Apple may use a reservation system.

Apple told Business Insider that if a long line forms outside of a store that's open, queued customers will be provided with a reservation slot and told to return at a different time to make their device purchase. Those who plan to line up in front of an Apple Store can expect to be provided with a reservation spot rather than being allowed to stand in a long line.

Some stores are also not going to allow for walk-in purchases at all, such as the Union Square store in San Francisco, California. An employee at that store said that customers must make an advanced reservation to purchase an ‌iPhone 12‌ on launch day, though it's not clear if that means a pre-order or a reservation on launch day.

Though Apple seems to be discouraging people from lining up in front of stores, at least one person claims to have seen a line. MacRumors reader BlueMoose said that there were 11 people sitting outside of his local Apple Store as of 10:30 a.m. waiting for the ‌iPhone 12‌ launch on Friday.

I want to commend those 11 people sitting in front of my local Apple Store waiting for tomorrow... it's people like them who made Apple successful.

I spoke to the 2nd guy in line. (the first one in line was sleeping... at 12 noon, but he's been there since last night) He wanted to experience what it's like to do something silly... can't argue with that. I overheard an Apple Store employee telling them(at least those 11) that they'll be fine when the doors open tomorrow, as long as they are flexible on the colors of the ‌iPhone 12‌.

It's not clear how many people are planning to line up outside of Apple Stores around the world, but it seems there may be some stock for in-person purchases at some Apple retail locations. Apple is also planning on having customers come to pick up devices that were pre-ordered back on October 16, with reservations spread out across different time slots.

Have you seen lines outside your local ‌Apple Stores‌? Let us know in the comments.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

Relentless Power Avatar
6 weeks ago
I’ll just comfortably and safely order from the convenience from my home. The days of standing in line is becoming archaic, especially more than ever given the pandemic.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cvam1985 Avatar
6 weeks ago


Yea but then your just standing there looking like a jerk because you are allowed to?

The one looking like a jerk is not the one minding their own business doing what they want in a free country. The one looking like a jerk is the one shaming healthy people for exercising their rights.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Remy149 Avatar
6 weeks ago


I’ll just comfortably and safely order from the convenience from my home. The days of standing in line is becoming archaic, especially more than ever given the pandemic.

I camped out to get my ps5 preorder last month. While I’m glad I got it I don’t ever want to do anything like that again
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacUser4_20 Avatar
6 weeks ago
As someone who has participated in Apple launches since before they were launch day crowd events, I understand the fun, excitement and experience. I have participated in launches at stores around the world, and like to experience the excitement. As of late, I have waited from early morning (2am-3am), even though I had a reservation, just to be part of the crowd and experience the launch day fun. Typically, when they break up the lines for those with preorder appointments vs walk-ins, I am usually #1, or #2 in line. In a pandemic, that is much different, as many stores are closed, forcing some of us to wait on deliveries.

As with the Apple Watch Series 6 launch, I ordered from a store 3 hours away, and drove there to be part of the “launch”. It was pretty much a non existent launch, but something I value as part of the Apple experience.

I am hoping my local store will have in person pickup, and that there will be some excitement this year as, now more than ever, some fun and excitement should be embraced, since we have had 8 months of pretty mediocre ability to have “fun”.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dlondon Avatar
6 weeks ago
After twelve years, it took a pandemic for Apple to initiate a reservation system. Not everything Covid is bad.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
techno-Zen Avatar
6 weeks ago
Just wake up at 5am at preorder day. not a big deal
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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