AT&T sold out its first batch of iPhone 5s in less than 10 hours and is now telling customers it will take 14 to 21 days to ship new iPhone 5 pre-orders. The delayed shipping will irk those that stayed up late last night to order the iPhone 5, but were unable to do so since AT&T’s online store and customer portal wasn’t fully operational.
Apple, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon all began selling iPhone 5 pre-orders at midnight PDT. Many AT&T Wireless customers reported that they were unable to access their AT&T accounts or place orders. Those who gave up in the wee hours are now out of luck if they hope to have an iPhone 5 delivered on the initial September 21 delivery date. AT&T customers could have ordered iPhone 5s directly from Apple with a September 21 delivery date if they acted fast, but Apple sold out of its first batch of iPhone 5s by 1AM PDT.
AT&T’s estimated shipping dates will confuse some customers. At first glance it appears that new iPhone 5 pre-orders will be delivered between September 28 and October 5, but that isn’t the case. AT&T is referring to business days, which means the earliest customers placing pre-orders will receive the iPhone 5 is actually October 4. Since AT&T won’t tell customers precisely when customers can expect their shipments, some ordering today will be in iPhone 5 shipping limbo until October 11, a full 20 days after the iPhone 5 goes on sale at Apple retail stores. Things could be even worse since it isn’t clear if AT&T is quoting estimates of when it will ship or deliver iPhone 5 to customers.
Those on the east coast will be disproportionately affected since iPhone 5 pre-orders didn’t kick off until 3AM EDT, well past most people’s bedtime.
AT&T customers that simply must have the iPhone 5 on launch day should plan on waiting in line next week. Both Apple and AT&T Wireless stores will be selling the iPhone 5, though it’s impossible to know if these stores will have enough stock to go around.
If you can’t wait in lin, you should stop by their local Best Buy today and place a pre-order. Best Buy’s iPhone 5 pre-order process requires shoppers to buy a $25 gift card as a deposit that can be put towards the iPhone 5 or any other product should they change their minds. Unfortunately, Best Buy doesn’t guarantee when you’ll actually receive an iPhone 5 since the stores don’t know what kind of iPhone 5 stock they’ll receive for launch day or any time soon after.
The iPhone 5 is Apple’s first 4G LTE smartphone. It features a taller display and Apple’s iOS 6 mobile operating system.