You are looking to buy an iPhone 5S (or the iPad Air or the upcoming iPad Mini Retina) but the model you want is neither available on the Apple website nor at the local Apple Store. Apple will not notify you when they have stock so you manually check the Apple’s online store, multiple times a day, to know if that product has become available or not.
A website called Apple-Tracker.com (now offline) made that task slightly less cumbersome as it allowed users to quickly check availability of Apple products in stores in their locality. You could choose an Apple product, enter your zip code and it would tell you if that product was available for pickup at any of the Apple stores in your locality.
The website is however no longer available but the developer has uploaded the code on Github should you be interested in running a private copy of the Apple Tracker. This is a Node.JS based app and implementation does need some technical know-how.
There’s however a simpler Google Script based version of the Apple Tracker tool available as well that you can run privately in your own Google Drive. This version will send email alerts (sample alert) as soon as it finds that an item in your watchlist is available at a nearby Apple store. You can track stocks of iPad Air, iPad Mini with Retina Display and the iPhone 5S.
Here’s how you can use the Google Script based Apple Tracker tool for automatically tracking Apple inventory at various Apple Stores in your locality:
- Click here to make a copy of the Apple Tracker script in your Google Drive.
- You’ll have a sheet with a list of all available models of the iPhone 5S, iPad Air and the upcoming iPad Mini with Retina. Put “Y” against items that you wish to track.
- Go to the Apple Tracker menu in the sheet and choose Initialize. Then click “Accept” at the authorization dialog. The script is open-source and none of your data leaves your Drive.
- Choose Start Tracking under the Apple Tracker menu. Enter your zip code (U.S. only) and your email address where you wish to receive product availability alerts. Click the Start Tracking button and exit the Google sheet.
That’s it. The Google Script will check the inventory of all Apple Stores in the specified zip code every hour and will send email alerts if it finds a store where your Apple product is available for pick up. The email alert will also include the Apple store’s address and phone number.
If you would like to disable tracking, just open your Google sheet copy and add “N” against all the product items that you no longer wish to track. Alternatively, you may choose the Uninstall option under the Apple Track menu.