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The iphone 5 is going to be my first iphone.

Since I've never purchased one before, I'm wondering, who else besides Apple offers preorders in the United States? Does anyone offer them on the same date that Apple does?

I only ask because I'd prefer to avoid having to go to the Apple store when it comes out. I like Apple but the thought of waiting in line for hours annoys me.

Which retailers, if any, typically offer preorders? Which ones officially offer pre-orders?

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Can we assume you are asking about US retailers? This is a world-wide site and the answers might vary widely in some situations. – bmike Sep 12 '12 at 19:31
You are correct. Sorry about that - I'll update. – Dave Sep 12 '12 at 19:57
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The carriers pre-sell and also have pre-order queues from years past. It's not been something that other retailers have offered as the quantities sent through distribution channels is largely taken by large corporate buyers looking for as many devices as possible so until production catches up with demand, your best bet might be to pre-order directly from Apple and have home delivery scheduled if you don't want to try your luck with the waiting in line game. (You can always go wait in line if you care, knowing your phone has been pre-ordered but the reverse hasn't been true once the initial allocation of pre-orders sells out.)

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A good strategy that I used when I first decided to go with a new phone was to determine which carrier you're going to go with, and have both their website and Apple's website queued up and ready to go when pre-orders go live. That way, you're guaranteed a slot regardless of whether one source sells out (both the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S pre-orders were exhausted fairly quickly). – Terrance Shaw Sep 12 '12 at 21:34

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