If you were hoping to get your hands on a new iPhone 5 this week, you might be out of luck. Reports indicate that Apple has been facing stock shortages since one hour after online pre-orders first became available last week.
The iPhone 5 got its grand unveiling last Wednesday, September 12. Although some people were disappointed with the product, which lacks any visible ‘wow’ feature, the updated processor and reduced size were enough to send people scrambling online to reserve their own device.
And I mean a LOT of people went online. According to reports, the iPhone 5 went on pre-order sale at midnight and by 1AM (Pacific time) Apple was already preparing to push the phone’s actual ship date back by one week.
When Apple announced that the iPhone 5 would be available for pre-order on September 14, they expected the first units to ship by September 21. If one bought their iPhone 5 in that first hour of availability, the Apple site’s ship date would have read “1 week”. However, those who made their purchase just 90 minutes later would have seen that ship date adjusted to “2 weeks”.
The response has been astounding. After all, it took 22 hours — rather than just one — for Apple to re-adjust ship date expectations when its iPhone 4S hit the market last year.
“Clearly, iPhone 5 fever is in full swing,” noted tech analyst, Brian White.
White says he believes that between 1.3 million and 1.5 million pre-orders were placed for the iPhone 5 in its first 24 hours. That beats the iPhone 4S by between 300,000 and half a million units.
Looking down the road, it’s likely Apple suppliers will have a hard time keeping up with demand. Experts believe that Sharp, which produces displays for the iPhone 5, will soon fall behind. If so, that could produce shortages for the foreseeable future.