¶ A Step-by-Step Guide to Pre-Ordering an iPhone 5 and Switching to Verizon

It is very possible that Apple will open up pre-orders for the iPhone 5 next week after its media event. I’ve mentioned it before, but both times I have purchased an iPhone, AT&T was the sole US carrier. But that isn’t the case now. Now Sprint and Verizon are options, too.

I’m taking the opportunity to not only move up to the iPhone 5, but to switch to Verizon. And I have a feeling I’m not the only person in this situation, so here’s a little guide from yours truly on how to pre-order an iPhone 5 and switch to Verizon while keeping your number.

  1. Pre-order your Verizon iPhone 5 from Apple or Verizon and sign up as a new Verizon customer. Let the system assign you new numbers. Just think of the new numbers as placeholders, as you’ll switch your AT&T number later.
  2. Wait a week or so for your new iPhone 5 to arrive.
  3. Unbox the iPhone 5, boot it up and activate it. I’d hold off on restoring from iCloud’s backup just yet. (Speaking of iCloud backup, on your previous iPhone, make sure you are on Wi-Fi and go to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup > Back Up Now and run a current backup).
  4. After it is activated, make sure you can pull cellular data and make a phone call.
  5. Now call Verizon to have them switch your AT&T phone number over.
  6. Say good riddance goodbye to AT&T.
  7. Make another call and make sure your number is correct.
  8. Now, go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. This will start the setup guide over. Now connect to Wi-Fi during setup and log in with your iCloud ID and restore from your iCloud backup. Everything should be awesome now.

This process should have the least amount of friction in switching both phones and carriers. Godspeed.