Are you in the Apple iPhone Upgrade Program, the company's official payment plan that lets buyers pay for a pricey new smartphone in more affordable installments? If so, the company's offering a way to get a head start over early bird preorders.
"Get ready now," says the company in an email dispatched to iPhone Upgrade Program members. "Speed through pre-order on 9.15." September 15 is the date Apple's new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will be available to preorder, followed by those phones' official release date a week later on Friday, September 22. Apple says you can "get all the prep work done now with [its] Apple Store app on your iPhone to save time at pre-order," cheekily adding "when every minute counts."
All you have to do is open the Apple Store app on your iPhone, then choose the model you want, at which point Apple will let you get pre-approved for the corresponding iPhone Upgrade Program loan. The loan amount varies depending which model you opt for. Both are available in 64GB and 256GB capacities, starting at a price of $699, while the Plus model starts at a price of $799. Apple also unveiled a radically new smartphone it's calling an iPhone X at its September 12 event, though that model runs $999 and won't be pre-orderable until October 27, or available until November 3.
As TIME tech critic Lisa Eadicicco put it after spending time with the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus: "The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, though not as flashy as the iPhone X, will probably be the iPhones most people opt for. They balance familiarity with new features that make the iPhone feel fresh. That, and it's no leap to wager many won't be willing to shell out $1,000 for a new iPhone likely to be replaced by a new and further refined version in a year."
If you agree, Apple says you can get pre-approved until 4 p.m. PDT on Thursday, September 14. Then on Friday, September 15, you can come back — preorders open at 12:01 a.m. PDT — and check out "with just a few taps."