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Apple to begin taking iPhone 5 Personal Pickup retail reservations in US tonight

While customers in international countries can already place a one-day reservation to get their hands on the iPhone 5 at an Apple retail store, the capability is set to come to the U.S. beginning tonight.

Apple's retail employees have begun informing customers that Personal Pickups for iPhone 5 orders will begin this evening at 10 p.m., AppleInsider has been told. Customers will be able to purchase their iPhone 5 online, and stores with inventory will hold the purchase for pickup the next day.

Retail Apple stores across the U.S. are said to have begun receiving shipments of new iPhone 5 units on Monday that will be held for customers to reserve through the Personal Pickup program on Tuesday. One customer was told that the reservation program in the U.S. will be accessible via the iPhone 5 page on Apple's website.

An announcement about the policy change was reportedly made internally to Apple's employees on Monday. Word then began spreading as the day went on.

For now, Apple's website still says that iPhone 5 purchases are available on a first-come, first-served basis. In contrast, customers in other countries, such as the U.K., have the option to reserve an iPhone 5 and pick it up the next day at an Apple retail store.

U.S. customers who reserve and purchase their iPhone 5 will reportedly have just one day to pick up their purchase. If they do not, they will lose the handset and their money will be refunded.