The iPhone 13, 13 Mini, 13 Pro, and 13 Pro Max phones go on sale Friday, Sept. 24, and if you want one, you should do a little legwork before the stores open. Yes, you may be able to find one. Yes, they may all be gone by the time you get to the store.

Here's a little about what I know, what I think, and what you should know if you've just got to get your hands on Apple's latest and greatest device:

Hours after Apple began accepting pre-orders on its website it posted an update stating there are shipping delays and from that point on, anyone who purchased one of the new devices would have to wait for it to be delivered until sometime in October.

The good news is if there is an Apple store near you, phones that are pre-ordered will be available for pickup. That's as of right now though. Demand could very well limit the number of available devices to anyone who does not pre-order a phone.

Cellular provider stores should have a limited number of devices in their stores come Friday. When I've checked at T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon, employees told me they had no idea how many devices they'll actually have on hand. Could you ask them to reserve one for you? Perhaps but that depends on the store and the employee quite frankly. In the past, I have had both good luck and disappointment on release day.

If you are no longer under contract with a carrier, you may be able to ask ahead of time for a phone to be held for a short time IF you agree to sign a new contract with the carrier. Again, that may or may not work depending on who you talk to ahead of time.

Get to the store early. In recent years, iPhone releases have not generated the same type of excitement and the long lines that were common at stores when the iPhone 6 and iPhone X were released. When I've been in stores for the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 releases, there were few people standing in line waiting. As a result, everyone who came to those stores early got the phone they wanted.

Typically, iPhones with the least amount of storage sell out first, and now that the iPhone 13 offers 128 GB as its smallest amount of data, I suspect this will be true again. The only caveat is that many times the Pro version with more storage is in demand by creators and photographers. Keep in mind the number of people creating content for YouTube, TikTok, their own websites, and video podcasts have grown. Seems like most people who want a Pro or Pro Max prefer the larger amount of storage. Still, you may find those devices available while the 128 GB models leave the shelves first.

Apple, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon are the first places you think of when buying a new smartphone but don't forget other retailers. Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Sams Club, and Costco will have some of the devices available as well. They won’t have as many devices available but you may get lucky.

In previous years when demand for the new phones has been great, buying a new iPhone and getting it set up in the store will take some time. Maybe a couple of hours depending on whether your current device has been backed up and ready to be restored on a new device. My advice is to back up your current iPhone to the iCloud before you get to the store. Some stores will boost their WiFi signal for customers who need to do that before moving everything over to the new device but if there are many people in the store all needing to backup and restore their data, it can take quite a while as the store's WiFi will be overworked by all of that data being uploaded and downloaded.