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iPhone 5 reservation system goes live

Using Apple's Personal Pickup Web site, you can preorder a phone between 10 p.m and 4 a.m. and then get it from your local store the following day.

Eager iPhone 5 buyers can now pre-purchase the phone during the night and then pick it up during the day.

Known as Personal Pickup, Apple's online reservation system comes to life every night between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. During those hours, you can reserve and pay for your new iPhone. Current smartphone owners can also check their upgrade status from the site. You can then pick up your iPhone the next business day at your local Apple Store.

Without the reservation, Apple cautions that "limited quantities may also be available for in-store pickup on a first-come, first-served basis." So pre-purchasing the phone by night is a good way to avoid those lengthy lines in the morning.

Apple had been expected to launch the Personal Pickup site last night at 10 p.m, according to a report from 9to5Mac. The site is now fully up and running, so users who missed the opportunity last night can try tonight.

Supplies of the iPhone 5 have been limited since initial demand has outstripped supply, to no surprise. The ship time to order the phone from Apple's online store is three to four weeks. And third-party retailers could make you wait even longer. My local Verizon store told me on Saturday that it wouldn't be able to ship a 64GB iPhone 5 until October 19.

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