When, where, and how to buy Apple's new iPhones

Interested in the iPhone 5S or cheaper iPhone 5C? Here's how you can get your hands on them as soon as possible.

The iPhone 5C.
The iPhone 5C. Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Apple on Tuesday announced its latest iPhone at a press event in Cupertino, Calif. The iPhone 5S is equipped with an improved camera with a dual-LED flash and a faster 64-bit A7 processor with improved graphics. Other specs include the same 4-inch Retina Display, improved battery life, support for 4G LTE networks, and a fingerprint scanner embedded in the home button for added security.

The company also unveiled the iPhone 5C, a lower-cost model that is being offered in a variety of color options. The device is similar to last year's iPhone 5, with a 4-inch Retina Display, 8-megapixel rear camera, and dual-core A6 processor.

Rather than an aluminum and glass body, however, the iPhone 5C features a plastic shell, similar to the older iPhone 3G and 3GS.

Here's when, where, and how you can get your hands on Apple's latest smartphones:

When and where

The iPhone 5S and 5C will be released on September 20. The company noted that preorders for the iPhone 5C will begin on September 13. It has been confirmed that the iPhone 5S will not be available for preorder.

Apple

Like other iPhones before it, the 5S and 5C will be brought into this world with great fanfare. Lines have already begun to form in front of at least one Apple store, and more crowds are expected as launch day nears. Apple is scheduled to open its retail stores at 8 a.m. local time on September 20.

The easiest way to get your hands on the iPhone 5S is to order it online. If you are more interested in the lower-priced iPhone 5C, it is recommended you preorder the device beginning September 13 from Apple's online store.

Carriers

Apple's Web site can quickly become overwhelmed by the thousands of eager customers looking to purchase a new smartphone. Your best bet is to visit your wireless carrier's Web site or store. If online shipping dates begin to slip, customers can opt for the "Pick Up In Store" option on launch day. Finding a nearby store with the new devices in stock could be a different story, though.

Be sure to check out this guide to find the carrier that's right for you.

Verizon

The nation's largest wireless carrier has confirmed that it will offer both the iPhone 5S and 5C, with the latter being available for preorder online on September 13. Those interested in the iPhone 5C can preregister on Verizon's Web site to be notified with more information. Both models will be available in-store and online on September 20. Verizon will begin taking preorders online at 3:01 a.m. EDT on September 13.

AT&T

AT&T confirmed that both models will be available on September 20. Users can preregister now on the company's Web site to be notified with more information about the iPhone 5C, which will be available for preorder on September 13 starting at 3:01 a.m. EDT.

Sprint

Sprint will also offer the iPhone 5S and 5C in-store and online on September 20. According to its Web site, the carrier will open preorders for the iPhone 5C online on September 13 at 3:01 a.m. EDT.

T-Mobile

T-Mobile will offer both the iPhone 5S and 5C in-store and online on September 20, with the iPhone 5C being available for preorder online on September 13. Those interested in either device can preregister now on the carrier's Web site to be notified with more information. It should be noted that due to T-Mobile's new no-contract strategy, the iPhone 5S and 5C will not be subsidized like they are on Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint.

Smaller regional carriers such as C-Spire and Cricket have also offered Apple's new iPhones in the past, but neither has announced release information at this time.

Retailers

Major retailers such as Target, and Sam's Club have offered Apple's new iPhones in the past, but have not yet announced release information.

Best Buy

Best Buy has confirmed that it will carry the iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, and iPhone 4S with 8GB of storage at all locations starting on September 20. The retailer will also offer the iPhone 5C and 8GB 4S for preorder in-store only starting on September 13.

Walmart

Walmart announced that in addition to selling the iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, and iPhone 4S with 8GB of storage, the company will offer substantial discounts on both new and old models. The iPhone 5C, which can be preordered in stores on September 13, will be available starting at $79 with a new two-year agreement, while the iPhone 5S, which will be available at retail locations on September 20 at 8 a.m. local time, can be had starting at $189 on contract.

The company will offer the 16GB iPhone 5 for $79, the iPhone 4S in either 16GB or 8GB capacities for $0.97, and the 8GB iPhone 4 for $0.10 with a $100 Walmart gift card. Starting on September 13, unlocked prices for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4 will also be reduced to $549 and $349, respectively.

RadioShack

The iPhone 5C on Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint will be available for preorder in RadioShack stores nationwide beginning on Friday, September 13 at 8 a.m. local time.

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Options

Storage and color

The iPhone 5S is being offered in three different color combinations: gold with white accents, silver with white accents, and "Space Gray" with black accents. The device will also be available in a variety of storage options, including 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB models.

The plastic iPhone 5C will be offered in 16GB and 32GB capacities, along with five different color options: white, lime green, light blue, red, and yellow.

Pricing

The iPhone 5S starts at $199 for the 16GB model with a new two-year service agreement; models with 32GB and 64GB of storage can be had for $299 and $399 on contract, respectively. The iPhone 5C will be offered for $99 for the 16GB model and $199 for the 32GB model with a new two-year service agreement.

The iPhone 5S can be had without a contract for $649, $749, and $849 for the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB models, respectively. The iPhone 5C will be available for $549 for the 16GB model and $649 for the 32GB model; an 8GB iPhone 4S will be offered for $450.

What to do next

Selling your old device

You can actually sell your old device for cold, hard cash . Before you do so, however, check out CNET's guide for backing up your contacts, pictures, and more .

This post will be updated as more carriers and retailers announce release information.

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Updated: This article has been updated with more launch information.
About the author

Dan Graziano is an associate editor for CNET How To. His work has appeared on BGR, Fox News, Fox Business, and Yahoo News, among other publications. When he isn't tinkering with the latest gadgets and gizmos, he can be found enjoying the sights and sounds of New York City.

 

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