Apple's iPhone 13 launch shows that Samsung does pre-orders better

iPhone 13 and Samsung Galaxy S21
(Image credit: Future)

Grab the pitchforks, it's time for an Apple vs. Samsung discussion. Two of the world's biggest phone brands, each with lovable features, smart designs, and dedicated fanbases, but one does it much better when it comes to pre-orders.

When you get down to it, pre-orders are simply for those who want to get in first, getting a new handset before the rest of the world can when it becomes available to buy.

And while Apple treats it that way, offering the ability to get your order in early, Samsung has made more of an experience out of it. In fact, other than Apple, most of the big phone brands treat pre-orders like a special option for dedicated fans.

The benefits of a phone pre-order

Way back in January this year, Samsung launched its Galaxy S21 range. Like Apple is doing now, Samsung initially offered the devices in a pre-order stage for those wanting their devices delivered on release day.

Where Samsung differed from Apple is what it offered to customers who decided to pre-order. Along with the obvious factor of being the first in line, Samsung also included a collection of free gifts - a pair of Samsung wireless earbuds and a smart tracker, to be precise.

Then on top of that, Samsung threw in a collection of exclusive colours for those who pre-ordered and, like Apple, still managed to include trade-in schemes and on-the-day delivery.

Apple, on the other hand, has always shied away from this. During the iPhone 12 launch, those who pre-ordered the device would get the phone on release day with no added benefits, and it's the same with the iPhone 13 launch now.

It's not just Samsung that has adopted this attitude to pre-orders either. OnePlus does it with headphones and Google Stadia subscriptions, Google has thrown in free headphones or Chromebooks before and back in its slightly less restricted days, Huawei's P30 pre-orders would secure you a Sonos speaker.

The iPhone 13 Pro's camera module on a blue background

(Image credit: Apple)

But why does this matter?

Obviously, there is no requirement for a brand to offer anything with its pre-orders, it is simply a chance for fans to get their handsets first. However, Apple is now one of the few brands to not reward loyal customers for being the first to buy.

This doesn't dampen the value of Apple's iPhone 13 series, and in fact, at their current prices, the iPhone 13 handsets are some of the best value flagships around. Neither does it make Apple less of an attractive option.

Realistically, Apple is and always has been uniquely separate from its Android competitors, and being different is what makes it stand out. However, each year when Apple's latest iPhone pre-orders appear, we can't help but feel it lacks compared to its rivals.

The good news is that whether you're in the US or the UK, there are plenty of carriers and retailers making up for Apple's lack of offerings. Pre-ordering from certain retailers can get you free gifts, vouchers, or major discounts for being the first in.

If you feel your pre-order is missing something, check out the competition to see which retailers have spiced up their offers with some freebies, gifts, or discounts.

US pre-order retailers:

UK pre-order retailers:

Alex Hughes

Alex is a journalist who has written extensively about all things broadband, SIMs and phone contracts, as well as scouring the internet to land you the best prices on the very latest in gadgets and tech. Whether that be with the latest iPhones and Android handsets, breaking down how broadband works or revealing the cheapest SIM plans, he's in the know, and will help you land a bargain.