When the next iPhone is announced you can pre=order the phone either directly from Apple or you cellular carrier. It should be available on the official release date and you shouldn't have to wait in a huge line to get yours. There are no additional costs to do this either.
I think the reason why something always seemed to get in the way of the smartphone I just had to have, was because the technology just changes too fast. I am in a perfect position for the iPhone 5, still with a carrier but using the original phone and not in a contract, wanted an easy smartphone to use so I would not get in over my head, and get the smartphone at the beginning of its life not at the end. However, how do I know how to get the iPhone 5? I remember people sleeping out at the local Apple Store for previous iPhones. Do I wait for the day they go on sale and just see what others are doing? I do not want to miss this opportunity and with no smartphone experience yet, I need all the help I can get so I am there to at least purchase the next iPhone when it is available. thanks!