If you want the best shot at getting an iPhone X on release day, Nov. 3, then follow some of these tips ahead of time. There's no foolproof way to guarantee it, but these tips -- used by folks like myself who have been up at 3 a.m. ordering new iPhones before -- should put you ahead of the pack.
I've been up at 3 a.m. ordering a new iPhone several times before. I've always found that the Apple Store app on an iPhone or iPad performs much better than Apple's website, which can sometimes go offline or lag if it's getting slammed by buyers.
If you're using the mobile app, you can choose your model, capacity, color and carrier all before pre-orders open early tomorrow morning. Once you're finished, choose the share button at the top of the screen and text it to yourself. (Or tap the heart icon to save it as a favorite, either method works.) When the clock strikes midnight Pacific, you can click that text, jump into the Apple Store app and place your order without having to pick the options at the last minute. Remember: Every second counts.
Consider going direct to a wireless carrier, such as T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint or Verizon, for the iPhone X. Most folks are probably going to try to order directly through Apple, so you might avoid some of the hassle and grab a unit from your carrier of choice.
Remember, retailers such as Best Buy are also going to accept pre-orders for the iPhone X. If you can't find it from Apple or a carrier, jump over to Best Buy. I had an issue one year where I didn't get the iPhone on launch day from Best Buy, as promised, so keep that in the back of your head if you really need the iPhone X on Nov. 3.
If you enrolled in Apple's early upgrade program last year, as of Oct. 23 you should be able to configure the iPhone X model that you want ahead of time. This will, like the earlier trick above, allow you to jump into the app and buy the iPhone X the second it becomes available. Just remember: This will require you to send your current iPhone back in a box after the iPhone X arrives.