If you were hoping to pick up a new iPhone 5 on launch day, Sept. 21, but didn’t awaken early this morning to preorder, get ready to stand in line. Because according to Apple’s online store, preorder inventory of the device is already sold out in first-wave markets.
Apple began accepting preorders for the iPhone 5 around 12:01 am PT this morning and a little over an hour later the company was forced to move the shipping window for the device forward amid heavy demand. First promised with a delivery date of Sept. 21, the iPhone 5 is now showing a ship time of two weeks.
So, as I said, if your intent is on being among the first to own an iPhone 5, you better dust off that lawn chair and the rest of your urban camping gear. Because you’re going to need to stand in line outside an Apple retail store next Friday to get one. And you’ll likely need to get there early. It took iPhone 4S preorders about 22 hours to sell out last year. iPhone 5 preorders were gone in about an hour. Caveat: AT&T, Verizon and Sprint are still promising delivery dates of Sept. 21 on their Web sites, but it’s not clear if that pledge reflects available stock. Presumably, Apple’s inventory numbers are the ones to go by.
Said Topeka analyst Brian White, “Clearly, iPhone 5 fever is in full swing.”
Asked if it had preorder inventory enough to deliver on its still-promised Sept. 21 ship date, a Sprint spokesperson said, “Our projected delivery dates on sprint.com are thoughtful and are based on expected inventory for launch availability.”
“Thoughtful”? I’m not quite sure what’s meant by that either, but there you go …
Apple, Verizon, and AT&T have not yet responded to requests for comment.
Update: Ship dates at Verizon and AT&T have begun to slip by one to three weeks.