The Ultimate iPhone 5s Launch Survival Guide

Hey, we get it. You don’t just want the iPhone 5s. You want the first iPhone 5s, which means you’re going to be camping out tonight. We know that we are, some of us for the first time. Our Certifications expert Michael O’Connor is a veteran of more than a dozen device launches, so we thought we’d ask him for a few pointers on the dos and do not dos of our first iPhone launch. Michael O'Connor

First things first: What should we bring with us?

A chair. Water. USB backup batteries for the devices you bring with you. Something to do for anywhere between 5 and 20 hours, depending on how long you have to wait in line. A WiFi hotspot, if you’ve got one. Food. And enough people that someone can hold your place in line if you have to run to the restroom somewhere off-site if need be.

Always to make sure to check the forecast. This time of year, it could be 75 overnight, or it could be 45 and rainy. Be prepared. Bring an umbrella, a blanket, comfortable clothes, and a fan. I use a battery powered fan.

What should we definitely not bring?

Bring as little as possible. A couple of times I jammed my backpack full with an iPad, my laptop, my phone, two extra batteries, and it became a huge hassle to lug everything around. Also, I would suggest against bringing a grill to cook out. We did that once, and had to remove it after security complained.

Is security something we should be worried about?

Every Apple Store line is going to be different, based on it’s location. If it’s inside a mall and the mall management doesn’t want people to be inside the mall lined up, then you’re going to have to be outside of the mall, and, even then, mall security might try to shoo you away.

The best thing to do is get together with the first folks that arrive and figure out a place to form a line that’s going to cause the minium problems for security. If a security guard asks you to move, though, stay calm, don’t get angry, no matter what.

When should we get there?

You can’t really get there too early the night before. Being ten or fifteen people back in the line can add an hour to your wait. At the same time, don’t be at the front of the line if you don’t like having your picture taken by the newspaper.

Anything else?

Make sure you don’t have to go to work the next day. Bring good music. And, if you’re so inclined, a flask of an adult beverage. It’s going to be a long night.

Thanks, Michael! Be sure check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram tonight, as we broadcast the gory details of our first iPhone campout. And don’t forget our Instagram Scavenger Hunt, your chance to win a free Survivor Clear for iPhone 5/5s or iPhone 5c!

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