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Your best chances for getting an iPhone 5 this weekend

People await iPhone 5 outside Michigan Avenue Apple Store Thursday September 20 2012. l Stacie Scott~Sun-Times Media

People await the iPhone 5 outside of the Michigan Avenue Apple Store on Thursday, September 20, 2012. l Stacie Scott~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: October 21, 2012 3:00PM

If you think your best chance at getting an iPhone 5 this weekend is to sleep out on a sidewalk overnight, (some already are in New York) I have one tip for you: make sure you throw an insulating, moisture-proof barrier between yourself and the ground. Earth is a big, greedy planet and it’ll suck all the heat out of you in no time flat.

I also have tips for non-campers. You can always buy an iPhone 5 through Apple’s online store. They’re currently reporting a shipping delay of three to four weeks. You should use that time to congratulate yourself on your mastery of the whole “deferred gratification” thing. You are clearly an elevated being, unafraid to spend three weeks staring at your own soul without the distraction of material goods. Your reward is an elevated awareness.

I can tell that some of you are prepared to tell me exactly where I can stick the concept of elevated awareness.

Well, then keep in mind that there are 249 Apple Stores in the USA and they’ll all be open at 8 a.m. Friday. In my experience, there are always out-of-the-way mall stores with plenty of stock long into the first weekend of availability. But get there early if your heart is set on picking up an iPhone 5 with a specific combination of color, carrier and capacity.

And you do know that the new iPhone is also available directly from carriers’ own retail shops, right? Many folks walk out of an Apple Store empty-handed, and they’re so disappointed that they drive straight past a Verizon Store. Phone store employees won’t line up and cheer for you as you enter the store, but they will indeed sell you an iPhone 5. And they’re usually the last places people look on a release weekend.

Meanwhile, think about what you’d like to do with your old iPhone. Don’t just throw it into a drawer. Even after you’ve deactivated it and popped out the SIM card, your previous model can continue to pull a strong oar as a WiFi-based iOS device.

Or ... try to get spending money for it. Both Apple and Amazon will swap your old iPhone for store credit. Apple will even let you use that credit to buy a new iPhone.

Both systems work the same. Visit a site ( or, describe what you have, receive a quote, and then pack it up and ship it off. The better the condition of the phone and the more complete the package is (sync cable, charger, booklets, box) the better the offer. You’ll receive an electronic gift card via email. There’s also It works the same way ... but they’ll give you cash. You can check out offers from all three without making any commitments.

Or, you can pass your old phone on to a friend or family member. The phone will be locked to its original carrier, but you can get it set up for their account and their data plan with just a visit to one of the carrier’s stores.

That might be the best solution, if you’re giving it to your son or daughter. As a parent, you’re always telling your kids about how tough you had it when you were younger.

What better way to prove it than by letting your teenager struggle with an iPhone that doesn’t have a 4-inch widescreen display or Siri?

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