Here's How to Get an Early Start on Your iPhone X Order

We're getting ever closer to the iPhone X's launch, with Apple taking orders for its anticipated phone at 3 a.m. ET on October 27. But Apple's offering the chance for some would-be iPhone X owners to get a jump on everyone else — if they're already enrolled for annual upgrades.

Starting on Monday, Oct. 23, members of Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program can get pre-approval for upgrading to the iPhone X. You're not preordering the iPhone X at this stage — that will happen later in the week — but you are preloading enough information to speed up the preorder process.

Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program lets you pay for your phone in monthly payments so that you can upgrade to a new device after just 12 months. If you're happy with your phone, you can always keep making those monthly payments until you've paid off the device. The iPhone Upgrade Program also includes AppleCare+ protection, providing you with two years of hardware repairs and two instances of accidental coverage.

MORE: How to Pre-Order the iPhone X and Get the Best Deal

To upgrade to the iPhone X, you'll need to trade in your current iPhone. Apple now provides a trade-in kit to mail your iPhone, saving you a trip to one of Apple's retail stores.

Here's the catch, though: you would already have to be enrolled in the iPhone Upgrade Program to get a head stat on iPhone X preorders. In other words, if you didn't get your last iPhone through Apple's upgrade program, you're likely going to have to wait until Oct. 27 to begin entering iPhone X preorder info just like the rest of us.

Apple makes it easy to check if you're eligible for the Oct. 23 head start. Just go to Apple's online store or fire up the Apple Store app on your iPhone. You'll be asked to enter your current phone's serial number along with the last four digits of its IMEI number; you'll find both of those pieces of data in the Settings app of your phone under General > About. (Use the Apple Store app, and that info will fill in automatically.)

You can check to see if you're eligible to start your iPhone X preorder on Oct. 23.

You can check to see if you're eligible to start your iPhone X preorder on Oct. 23.

Alas, I am not eligible since I never enrolled in the program. But at Forbes, Anthony Karcz offers a detailed account of what information you'll need to provide as part of the pre-preorder process. You select the phone you want, and after Apple checks your eligibility, you'll find out whether you still owe any money on your current iPhone. You'll also get tips on check your current phone to make sure it's in good shape for trade-in. Then you'll provide what wireless carrier you're picking, some personal info and your credit card number, so all that will be queued up when it's time to place the actually preorder later in the week.

Monthly payments for the iPhone X start at $49.91. The phone costs $999 outright, and hits stores Nov. 4.

Anything that helps you quickly place an iPhone x order should be welcome. Analysts anticipate heavy demand for the new phone, which is expected to be in short supply at launch.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.