Don't trust the postal service to handle the delivery of your new iPhone 5s? Fear not: Apple's in-store pick-up option has returned this week, if only in limited capacity.
Depending on your choice of size, color, and carrier, the new flagship device is available for pick up in various stores, including New York's Grand Central, Fifth Avenue, and SoHo locations.
The Personal Pickup program allows consumers to make a purchase online, then visit the chosen store to pick up the device (or have someone else go in your place). Skip the lines and leave your Apple Store with iPhone in hand, ready to start placing calls and taking photos. With Personal Setup, a store employee will also get the device up and running before you leave the store.
Options are limited. A silver 64GB iPhone 5s from Verizon, for example, is available today from the SoHo, 14th St., and Grand Central Apple Stores. But the same device for AT&T is listed as "unavailable for pickup." A 32GB space gray iPhone 5s from Sprint was also available from most stores in Manhattan, but the same smartphone from Verizon was nowhere to be found. Visit Apple's website to see if your desired iPhone is in stock anywhere near you.
One option that is hard to come by in any version or carrier is the gold iPhone 5s. There is still a waiting period for online orders, but those who want it now can always shell out the big bucks on eBay.
Cupertino boasted a record-setting launch weekend, selling more than 9 million new iPhones (both the 5s and 5c) in its first three days. With such success, Apple was forced to drop the in-store pick-up option from its site amidst dwindling supplies.
According to the Apple website, the iPhone 5s is still set to ship in October, which is just one day away. However, those who bought the 5s on launch date were reporting that their estimated arrival dates were in late October. It appears that the multi-colored iPhone 5c is readily available online and in stores.
Meanwhile, Virgin Mobile USA last week announced plans to carry Apple's new smartphones without a contract, beginning Oct. 1. Pricing has not yet been revealed; unlimited data and messaging plans start from $35 per month, with a $5 monthly discount for buyers who register for automatic payments. The Sprint-owned wireless carrier's "unlimited" data throttles after 2.5GB.
For more, see PCMag's reviews of the Apple iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, as well as the slideshow above.