The iPhone 5 officially went on sale at the stroke of midnight Friday morning, as the Apple online store started accepting pre-orders for the highly anticipated next-gen iPhone. At midnight Pacific Time and 3 a.m. Eastern Time, buyers could pre-order an iPhone for delivery on the official launch date of Sept. 21.
They were sold out in an hour.
A quick look at the Apple online store shows that pre-orders for the iPhone 5 are now delayed by two weeks. They cleverly describe the ship date as "Available to ship: 2 weeks," not actually noting they mean "2 weeks after Sept. 21." There are two-week delays at the Apple online store on all iPhone 5 models—the 16GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB models.
The selling-out was first reported by MacRumors at 1:17 a.m.—just 67 minutes after the iPhone 5 went on sale.
Don't fret, iOS devotees, you can still have the iPhone 5 in your hot little hands right on Sept. 21. Or at least you can have it packaged, addressed to you, and delivered from some shipping warehouse right on Sept. 21, via your preferred method of shipping and handling.
Several other retailers and carriers are also selling the iPhone 5. Some are working on similar delays, some delays are even longer, and some require you to pre-order at a store in person. The delivery dates are moving around quickly, as suppliers are selling out of their pre-order stock as you read this. Demand for the iPhone 5 is exceeding supply for all retailers and carriers.
CNET reports that AT&T and Verizon are sold out of iPhone 5 pre-orders, and are now delaying delivery of any new pre-orders. Verizon is currently saying that their new iPhone 5 pre-orders will ship seven days behind schedule, on Sept. 28. AT&T is now operating on a delay of 7-14 days, shipping between Sept. 28 and Oct. 5. That Oct. 5 delivery date is the same one you'd get buying from the Apple online store.
Sprint Nextel is selling the iPhone 5, and claims they're shipping with no delays. You can still pre-order an iPhone 5 from Sprint and have it shipped on Sept. 21, one week from today.
You can pre-order the iPhone 5 at Wal-Mart, but you actually have to show up at a Wal-Mart store and pre-order the phone in person. Not all Wal-Mart stores are taking pre-orders, so maybe call first. Wal-Mart insist they'll still hand you that iPhone 5 on Sept. 21—but only if you pre-order.
Of course, the easiest way to get your iPhone 5 right on Sept. 21 is to just show up and buy it at an Apple retail store. They go on sale next Friday at 8 a.m., and you don't need to pre-order anything. If you don't know where to find an Apple retail store, check this Apple store locator. Expect long lines like this and like this, with overnight camping likely at several locations.
It could be worse. You should see how bad it gets in Beijing on the first day of iPhone sales.