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Your iPhone 4S may have already shipped. Here's how to check

I've been obsessing over the Apple Online Store's "Your Orders" page for the last two days, hoping that my iPhone 4S was on the way. But all I was getting was a "Preparing Shipment" notice, not a UPS or FedEx tracking number.

TUAW reader Stephen M. was running into the same dilemma, so he went straight to the UPS website for the answer. He provided us with this tip:

If you go to http://www.ups.com/tracking/tracking.html and click "Track by Reference," and then use the phone number you used to register at Apple.com, it will pull up your tracking info. My Apple account still says "Preparing Shipment", but UPS says it has left China. Hope this helps!

It certainly did! As you can see at the top of this post, my iPhone 4S is in Anchorage, Alaska right now. The full page shows every step of the journey so far, but I thought that was overkill for an image. Note that this does not work for international orders (sorry, Chris Rawson).

Thanks for the tip, Stephen!

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