iPhone 5 Preorders Set Brisk Pace
Apple's website sold through its initial stock of iPhone 5s in about an hour, but carrier sites still offer the new smartphone for Sept. 21 delivery.
Apple.com now says new orders will ship "in two weeks," or on September 28.
Apparently, people hate the new iPhone so much that they bought out all Apple's online stock of the device in about 60 minutes. Apple hasn't said what that initial supply was, though. For all we know it could have been just 1,000 phones available online.
But fret not. Right now, the only place the iPhone 5 is "sold out" on launch day is on Apple.com. The device will still be available on September 21 via other avenues.
Three carriers in the U.S. are selling the iPhone 5 on launch day: AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon Wireless. All three websites are still taking new orders for delivery on September 21. As of 8 a.m. ET Friday morning, both black and white models were available in the 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB capacities at each of the nation's largest carriers. In other words, all varieties of the iPhone 5 are still available for purchase.
[ Verizon may seem like the obvious choice, but AT&T and Sprint have a lot going for them. See iPhone 5: Which 4G Carrier To Pick? ]
Not interested in preordering and want to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of launch day crowds? Apple stores will open up at 8 a.m. on Friday, September 21, and will have their own supply of iPhone 5s. Apple stores will likely offer all the models available for all the carriers. In-store supplies of new iPhones on launch day have typically been very good.
If you're looking for a quieter in-store shopping experience on September 21, head over to your AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon Wireless dealer. All three carriers will stock the phone and will be happy to sell it to you. Carrier stores won't be as insane as Apple stores, but they may be busy.
Want to avoid crowds altogether? Try RadioShack. Be sure to bring your old iPhones, too. RadioShack will be selling the iPhone 5 on September 21 and is offering some killer discounts if you trade in old devices. For example, a working iPhone 4 32 GB nets $120 in trade-in value, and a working iPhone 4S 64 GB nets $220 in trade-in value.
The bottom line here is that the iPhone 5 is not yet sold out. Not by a long shot. If you're that anxious to get one, try one of the avenues mentioned above, or enjoy the energy and excitement of picking one up in person on September 21.
For the record, I preordered my black 32 GB iPhone 5 from AT&T.com at 8 a.m. this morning. Even though I am only 11-and-a-half months into a two-year contract, I qualified for a "premium customer discount." I paid $549 for the iPhone 5 instead of $749, which is the full retail price of the 32 GB model. I didn't qualify for the full upgrade discount. New customers can purchase a 32 GB iPhone 5 for $299.
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