Apple iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X: How to Pre-Order and When to Buy the New Models

Apple announced the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X at a highly-anticipated launch event on Tuesday, 10 years after the first-ever iPhone made its debut.

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will be available in silver, space gray and a new gold finish. It has glass on the front and back, microscopically sealed for water and dust resistance. The new models have 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays. The new stereo speakers are 25 percent louder and have a deeper bass than the iPhone 7. There's a brand new chip inside called the A11 bionic, which Apple called "most powerful and smartest chip ever in a smart phone," and an Apple-designed GPU (graphics processing unit). Apple has improved the camera for photos and video and is introducing wireless charging.

The iPhone 8 will start at $699 (for the 64GB) and cost $799 (for the 256GB) and the iPhone 8 Plus will start at $799 (for the 64GB) and cost $899 (for the 256GB).

But, as CEO Tim Cook said, the company had "one more thing" that will "set the path of technology for the next decade." Apple announced the iPhone X (pronounced "iPhone Ten"). That model, available in space gray and silver, also has glass on the front and back and is sealed against water and dust. The iPhone X has a 5.8-inch screen with a new OLED super retina display, no home button, the A11 bionic chip and improvements to the cameras. It uses FaceID instead of TouchID to recognize its owner and unlock the phone. The company is also introducing "animoji," which are exactly what they sound like: animated emoji. The iPhone X will start at $999 (for the 64GB).

Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the new iPhone X during an Apple special event at the Steve Jobs Theatre on the Apple Park campus on September 12 in Cupertino, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

For all the impatient iPhone enthusiasts who can't wait to get their hands on the new models—and for all of those who've been coaxing the last gasps of life from their current phones—Apple also revealed on Tuesday the timeline for pre-orders, shipping and store sale dates.

As observers predicted based on the rhythms of Apple's previous launches, customers will be able to pre-order the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus starting on Friday, September 15 at 12:01 a.m. PT via the Apple website or the Apple Store app (which may be a faster way to go if traffic to the site is high). They are expected to appear in stores and begin shipping the follow Friday, September 22.

But customers will have to wait longer for the iPhone X. That phone will be available for preorders beginning on Friday, October 27 at 12:01 a.m. PT and will start shipping the following Friday on November 3.

Regardless of where people plan to buy their new phones, they can make use of the time between the announcement and the pre-order sale to decide which features they'll want and making sure they have their carrier information —those on a family plan, for example, may need the last four digits of the Social Security number of the person who heads the account in addition to their own, as well as their phone number and billing zip code.

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus and the iPhone X could prove so popular that some customers will have to wait longer for their new phones, depending on the supply. Last September, demand for the 7 and 7 Plus in the black and especially the jet black colors was so high that Apple pushed back delivery dates by several weeks on some models. In 2014, the volume of pre-orders for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus was so high (with a record of more than four million in the first 24 hours) that some customers had to wait several weeks for their phones to ship. Several previous models had also sold out or been delayed for shipment in the first days of pre orders.

Tuesday's Apple Event was the first such occasion to be held at the new Steve Jobs Theater at its Apple Park campus in Cupertino, but the company has built a recent tradition of unveiling new products in the fall. Right around this time last year, it announced the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.