A new digital reservation system could save you time in the iPhone 6 line

Hoping to buy a new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus in the Apple Store next Friday but don’t have hours to stand in line? You may not have to. 9to5 Mac reports that Apple Store employees received training documentation for a program called Reservation Pass. The idea is to replace paper reservations with digital ones, which would let you leave the line and come back later to complete your purchase.

The queue outside Philadelphia's Walnute Street Apple Store Friday morning.

When new product inventory is limited, [company]Apple[/company] has used paper ticketing to manage both the stock and the line for its products. Each printed ticket represents one item, so 50 iPhone 6 handsets in Slate Gray with 16 GB, for example, would mean 50 printed tickets. When the tickets are gone based on customers in line, inventory is depleted and those further back in the line either choose a different product or simply go home.

With a digital reservation system, Apple would still easily manage inventory; it simply shifts the process from paper to bits. You’d still have to get in line for your iPhone purchase. Customers gain a big benefit, though: Once they have their product reserved, they can leave and come back later without worrying about a sell-out. That’s helpful because often, a customer may have to work out some account details with their carrier; with Reservation Pass, they’d be able to do so and then return to the Apple Store to get their new iPhone.

I’m sure Apple doesn’t mind the queue in front of its stores on iPhone launch day, which is September 19 this year. After all, that just helps build more buzz for the product and the brand. And some people actually enjoy the iPhone line experience, so they’ll probably continue to line up. For customers who want a new phone on launch day but don’t have hours to wait, though, a digital reservation system would both save time and get them the product they want on day one.