Apple's new iPhone SE is available for pre-order on Friday, April 17, and fans are excited about the smaller, more affordable option. The new phone will be officially released on Friday, April 24, but the day will look a lot different than previous iPhone releases. With the world in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, there won't be lines of people wrapped around Apple stores, and you might be uncertain about how to get the new model without a risk of exposure. Here's how to buy an iPhone during the coronavirus pandemic, because you can do it safely.
First off, you might wonder what kind of safety measures were put in place in factories producing Apple products in China, where the novel coronavirus originated in Wuhan earlier this year. Apple first took action by halting production in early February to help slow the the spread of the virus and protect the workers in stores and factories. Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the reopening of factories in late February in accordance with increased safety protocols, including social distancing, regular testing for the virus, and regularly sanitizing equipment. As of publication, Apple has reopened retail stores in China, but that's not the case for the rest of the world.
Store closures don't mean you can't get your hands on the new device, which starts at $399, but you might be unsure about the best way to buy during this time. Usually, the release of a brand new iPhone is marked by tech fans lining up to get inside Apple stores days ahead of time, but with increased social distancing and stay-at-home measures to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, the new iPhone SE release will look a little different.
Apple announced on March 13 that all of its retail stores would remain closed until further notice in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, which means they'll be shuttered on April 24, aka iPhone SE release day. In response, the company is offering free delivery and taking steps to make deliveries safer for the customer and delivery person. Anyone who orders an Apple product from the online Apple store will have their order delivered with the company's contact-free delivery at no extra cost. This means you don't have to meet the delivery person for a signature. Instead, they will leave the package at your door, and you can pick it up once they've departed.
To get Apple's contact-free delivery, you'll follow the same steps you normally would when ordering from its online store. If you're pre-ordering the new iPhone SE, starting on Friday, April 17, you can order it on Apple's website or with the Apple Store app. You can find other items you're looking for online in the Apple store, including iPads, iPhones, Macs, and AirPods, all with guaranteed free no-contact delivery until further notice. Once the phone goes on sale at other retailers on April 24, you can check with your phone carrier what their delivery options are.
If you're planning on doing a device trade-in, you can still complete this step online. Apple's website does this by giving you an online trade-in estimate. Once you accept it, you'll get a prepaid trade-in kit sent to your door, but you won't see the savings immediately. Instead, after Apple verifies the trade-in after receiving your device, you'll get a credit back on your original purchase method or an Apple Store gift card.
Apple is also offering online and phone support if you're having trouble placing an order or have any other questions. Even though release day will look a little different for the iPhone SE, you can still order the new phone from the comfort of your home.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all Elite Daily's coverage of coronavirus here.