The big day is almost here. After months of speculation, a momentous keynote from Tim Cook, and record preorders, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will officially hit store shelves this Friday. Apple is going to great lengths to ensure that Friday runs smoothly for its customers and employees.
We’ve tracked down Apple’s retail gameplan so you’ll know what to expect on launch day including what percentage of iPhones Apple Stores are required to hold back, refreshment times (Starbucks usually) and Personal Setup details … Apple’s big week starts with the arrival of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus inventory “as early as Wednesday, September 17th.” Retail inventory specialists (Back of House) have been instructed to “hold back 4% of overall inventory by SKU (minimum 1 device/SKU) for DOA holdbacks.” This ensures that customers will not be let down if their new iPhone has an issue right out of the box. Devices that were preordered for in-store pickup will be set aside so they are not accidentally sold to walk-in customers.
Around 5 am, Apple specialists are directed to begin interacting with the line by sharing their excitement for iPhone 6/6 Plus and answering any questions. At this time, the line will be split based on order type: one for walk-in customers and one for Personal Pickup (PPU).
Next, walk-in customers will start getting their Reservation Pass placeholders. This new digital queue system will replace the physical product reservation cards that Apple used during previous product launches. Reservation Pass will be sent to customers’ phones via SMS or email and can be stored in PassBook. Apple will issue the old physical cards to customers who do not have access to text or email while in line. As always, Apple will also be handing out refreshments (most likely coffee and water) throughout the morning. The Genius Bar will not be open for service appointments until “the majority of inventory is out of stock.”
Once the clock strikes 8 am, customers will be greeted with a “warm welcome” and then paired with a specialist who will either confirm the Reservation Pass number for walk-in customers or scan the Ready For Pickup (RFP) barcode for Personal Pickup customers. The specialist and customer will head back to the Genius Bar to retrieve their iPhone of choice and begin the transaction.
Every customer will be asked if they would like a Personal Setup, which is a one on one experience with a specialist who helps get your new iPhone up and running. If a customer declines the Personal Setup, then specialists are directed to inform them about Express Workshops and hand out “Icing” cards, which invite the customer to return to the Apple Store for future training needs.
Stay tuned to 9to5Mac all week as we continue to cover the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch.