Demand for iPhone 5 Exceeds Supply

by Jordan Richardson on September 18, 2012

iPhone 5 demand has exceeded the initial supply, with Apple booking two million pre-orders in one day. That should push delivery of said pre-orders, at least some of them, back about a month.

Apple says that most of the pre-orders will go out on time on Friday, the first date of delivery. Many units aren’t expected to be available until October, however.

Apple commenced pre-sales for the iPhone 5 on Friday at midnight Pacific time. By Monday morning, AT&T stated that the iPhone 5 is the fastest-selling smartphone the company has ever stocked. The device will go on sale September 21 in its stores and is “still available for pre-order.”

Apple continues to beat its own first-day sales records, with the iPhone 4S booking a million orders in its first day. Prior to that, Apple posted a one-day record of 600,000 orders for the iPhone 4.

All signs point to a robust holiday season for Apple, as the perfectly-timed iPhone 5 will find its way under a lot of trees and into a lot of stockings. Analysts have adjusted their expectations in light of this news and the stock market reflected the change, with shares up one percent in early trading on Monday.

According to Canaccord Genuity tech analyst Michael Walkley, he expects Apple to ship anywhere between nine and 10 million iPhone 5 units leading into the last day of its fiscal 2012 (September 29).

Apple’s website in the U.S. stated that deliveries for the iPhone 5 would take two weeks to fulfil, which may well be an eternity for those who can hardly wait to get their hands on the new model. The date apparently slipped form initial estimates about an hour into the pre-sale period on Friday, which illustrates just how quickly things were moving.

“Clearly, iPhone 5 fever is in full swing,” Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White said. “When you do a pre-order, the last thing you want to do is upset customers, so obviously they are overwhelmed with the demand. No one wants to sell out in an hour.”

To match the growing demand, Apple will have to boost production in a hurry. “We believe the fast sell-out indicates both high levels of demand and constrained supply,” said Shannon Cross, analyst with Cross Research. “However, given that the company announced an aggressive rollout schedule, we assume management’s plan includes a rapid increase in production.”

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