Your iPhone 5 Pre-Order Says “Preparing for Shipment”? Here’s How to Track It Anyway

Sep 19, 2012 - 42 Comments

iPhone 5 preparing for shipment

If your iPhone 5 pre-ordered through Apple still says “Preparing for Shipment” and it’s making you anxious, worry not, it has probably already shipped but Apple’s Order Status page just hasn’t updated yet. In fact, you can start tracking the iPhone right now even though Apple’s order page doesn’t provide a tracking number yet, here’s how:

  • Go to the UPS Tracking webpage and click “Track By Reference”
  • Enter the phone number used for ordering the iPhone 5, enter the delivery date range, enter the delivery country (USA), and your delivery zip code, then click “Track”
  • Voila, your pre-order tracking number is revealed as is the current location of your iPhone 5

If you’re obsessive like many of us, you’ll probably want to save that tracking number so you can refresh it constantly on the 21st.

For about 85% of pre-orders the iPhone 5’s seem to be sitting at the giant UPS sorting center in Louisville, Kentucky, waiting for the 20th for their overnight shipping to take effect before landing on your doorstep on launch day.

Track an iPhone 5 pre-order early

iPhone 5 pre-order tracking number and information

If you didn’t bother to pre-order but want an iPhone 5 on launch day, here are places where you can buy one.

This great little tracking trick comes from @DavidSmith on Twitter, don’t forget to follow us there too


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Austin says:

    I ordered mine sept 29 and idk what dates I should put. Please help

  2. Zach says:

    What about those of us who didnt order on the first day and dont have shipment number yet? Verizon told me my guarenteed delivery date is before october 5th but didnt give me an exact date

  3. Michael says:

    Mine wont work! Help me..

  4. Gigi says:

    BTW, I just got a shipment notification this a.m from Apple…too late!!
    My baby is now in KY heading to SF tomorrow!!
    Come to mama!!

  5. Gigi says:

    Been obsessing for the last 3days. You’re a god send. Thank you.

  6. CJ says:

    I have been checking mine all week and it is still sitting in Kentucky. How can you say it’s “on time” when your due to be in my hands in Maryland tomorrow!

  7. Mike says:

    Use your billing phone number. Not the cell

  8. Bluue says:

    Doesn’t work in France .. My tracking number 8217577169 doesn’t work since I received it yesterday morning.

  9. Wes says:

    omg yes! I was seriously getting worried! Says mine is scheduled for delivery on Friday at 10:30AM woo hoo! However…..mine is in ALASKA and I’m in NYC O_O

  10. liz says:

    didn’t work for me but my delivery date still says 9/21 and haven’t gotten an e-mail saying it was pushed back and bought it within the first hour on sept 14, any thoughts?

  11. Mike says:

    Thanks for this tip! I can now look forward to having an iPhone 5 in hand by 10:30 AM Friday!

  12. Kevin says:

    I can’t find my information on UPS either which I think is more concerning than my order just sitting there on Apple’s website stating “Preparing for shipment”! Oh the anxiety!!

  13. PeteDeno says:

    No luck , I ordered at 12:01 am on the 14th and the Apple site states a 21st delivery , but can’t get UPS or Fedex to show anything based on the tip you provided on here :( I want my iPhone now!

  14. Christopher says:

    You guys are awesome! Thanks! Apple rep didn’t know what the tracking information was for my phone.

  15. richard says:

    Must use the billing account phone number…not the iphone number(s) (unless they are the same)…

    I have been worrying for a day for nothing!

    One is Louisville, the other left Anchorage…

  16. Finn says:

    Mine departed anchorage as well about a day and half ago. They’re most likely being delayed purposely to prevent early deliveries.

    • Pete says:

      I think you are absolutely correct. Mine zipped through Asia super fast, but has sat in Kentucky for the past 36 hours. I think once they leave the distribution centers then we will get the shipping notifications from Apple.

  17. Finn says:

    Also- this is only orders that use UPS. Some are coming from FedEx that ordered elsewhere.

  18. Ian0nline says:

    Thanks so much for this information!

    My status said preparing all week, now I can relax.

    I love this site, OSXDaily always posts unique and useful
    information. Thanks again!

  19. norbs says:

    Thank you guys!

  20. Doug says:

    Ahhh!!! I am doomed. It did not work for me.

  21. Mike says:

    Funny how I pre-ordered mine Sept 14th early morning and still says order processing and deliver Oct 3 for Texas

  22. Aaron says:

    Awesome! Mine are in Kentucky!

  23. Felicia says:

    Woohoo! Thanks a bunch!

  24. John says:

    Worked for me, but same as Danny – departing Anchorage.

    Tried my buddies who preordered from the carrier and doing a store pickup, his didn’t work.

  25. Kevin says:

    It look like unsuccessful in Australia

  26. Troy says:




  27. Danny says:

    Mine has been “departing Anchorage, AK” since about midnight a day and a half ago!

  28. rr says:

    Doesn’t work for me.

  29. bm28 says:

    Anything tips for those of us in the UK?

    • bT says:

      Try something similar with whoever is delivering the iPhone in your area of the UK

    • Carl says:

      You ok pal, ring apple if your in uk and get your tracking numbre it will start with 1z**************** and be 18 figures long, that’s what I did and my iPhones dewsbury =] hope that helped

Leave a Reply


Shop on and help support OSXDaily!

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates

Tips & Tricks


iPhone / iPad



Shop on Amazon to help support this site