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Apple to offer in-store iPhone 6 pickups for online preorders

Departing from its usual product launch operations, Apple will have iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models waiting at brick-and-mortar stores on Sept. 19 for customers placing preorders online.

As noted in an iPhone banner ad on Apple's retail store webpage, the company is initiating in-store pickups for the upcoming iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, both of which go up for preorder at 12:01 a.m. Pacific this Friday.

Alternatively, physical Apple Store locations are scheduled to open at 8 a.m. on launch day, but if past years are any indication of demand, lines could be an issue.

Apple's ad reads, "The big day is coming. Pre-order iPhone 6 and have it shipped to you for free, or pick it up in store. You can also buy at the Apple Retail Store beginning at 8:00 a.m. on September 19."

When asked about the preorder pickup process, Apple representatives said customers can designate a pickup location when placing a preorder reservation online, then bring in a Web receipt or registered email to present to an Apple Store greeter next Friday. With the phones set aside, new owners will also have the option of setting up the device in-store, though wait times may vary.

Workers were less clear on in-store pickup availability, however. Anticipating high demand, there may not be enough supply to keep the option open through to launch day, as retail locations need stock on hand for walk-in customers. As with most major iOS device launches, Apple says supplies may be limited and will be available for purchase on a first-come, first-served basis.

Apple previously offered in-store pickup for the iPhone 4 in 2010, but discontinued the service for subsequent models due to initial supply constraints.