Skip to content

iPhone XR pre-order: top tips to avoid disappointment on Friday

We’ve been waiting for iPhone XR since its big reveal back in September, with the release date (Oct 26) almost upon us. Though iPhone XS and XS Max sold relatively well last month, demand for this cheaper model is expected to be higher still, and as ever it’s likely there will be plenty of disappointed customers who miss out when pre-orders open later this week (Oct 19).

Here’s how to maximize your chances of nabbing an iPhone XR as early as possible.

Know when the window opens

Customers tend to flock to make purchases the second the pre-order window opens, but luckily we know when these products will be available down to the minute – so plan accordingly and get online a few minutes early to beat the digital queues.

Pre-orders go live simultaneously all over the globe in the early hours of Friday 19 October: specifically, 12.01 am PT / 3.01 am ET / 8.01 am GMT.  So to stand the best chance of getting something before all the initial stock is snapped up, Americans will need to stay up late while Europeans will need to get up early. Set an alarm so you don’t forget.

Past releases have only taken a few minutes before shipping estimates start to slip back further and further from the true release date, and we’d expect the same to happen this year with iPhone XR. Every second counts!

Decide exactly what you want

You want to be able to get through the checkout process as quickly as possible – so make sure you’ve decided exactly what it is you want. That means choosing ahead of time which storage capacity, color, and carrier you’ll be selecting. There are six colorful finishes to choose from and three storage options: 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. (For help deciding how much storage you’ll need, see our guide.)

From left to right: (PRODUCT)RED, Yellow, White, Coral, Black, Blue

If you’re dead set on getting one as soon as possible, be prepared to change your mind at the last second. Certain configurations may prove especially popular, and thus some of the shipping estimates will start slipping sooner than others.

For example, if you originally fancied a 256GB yellow model and it says it’s not available until late November, take a look at a 128GB coral version instead and you might just be able to get it sooner. If demand is high, you may have to compromise to stay ahead of the crowd.

Use the App Store app

Pre-orders can be made via, but by far the slickest checkout process is via the official Apple Store app. It’s a free download – so grab it now, log in and make sure your payment and shipping details are up-to-date to avoid any unexpected issues when the time comes.

You can use the heart icon in the app to add your preferred configuration to a favorites list, for easy access come launch time. This is a good way to get ahead of the pack while other potential purchasers fiddle with the various color and storage options. The App Store goes offline for a while whenever Apple readies a new product, but as soon as the launch window opens you can tap Add to Bag on your favorite configuration to move straight to checkout.

If you’re reading this later than Friday 19, you’ll almost certainly be out of luck for the release date. But it’s still worth pre-ordering to get an iPhone XR as soon as possible, and the App Store app will let you know estimated shipping times before you confirm any purchase.

So, if you’ve had your eye on the iPhone XR, there’s nothing more to say but good luck and happy shopping!