iPhone 5S release: online sales begin on September 20 at 12:01 a.m., in-store sales at 8 a.m.

Credit: Apple

In an email to customers on Friday morning, the company announced that its new smartphone can be bought online starting at 12:01 a.m. PDT and 3:01 a.m. EDT on September 20.

Apple Stores will begin selling the handset at 8:00 a.m. local time.

With the iPhone 5C Apple acted differently. The device has been available for pre-order starting today, with deliveries being sent to customers on its launch day next Friday.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo has speculated that the low-cost iPhone may out-ship the iPhone 5S this quarter.

Kuo said that the lack of pre-orders for the iPhone 5S could be explained by the fact that the company may have faced production issues associated with the Touch ID fingerprint reader.

The new Apple smartphone will include a new A7 processor, an M7 movement co-processor, and Touch ID, a fingerprint identity sensor.

Will you buy the iPhone 5S online or in store?