First iPhone 5 Pre-order Batch Sold Out, Shipping Slips to 2 Weeks

iPhone 5 pre-orders are no longer available for September 21 deliveries less than an hour after going on sale at midnight PDT today. Apple is now offering two-week ship dates on all iPhone 5 models for AT&T, Sprint and Verizon.

Two-week shipping isn’t as bad as it sounds since it’s only a week after the first shipments. However, Apple is no longer offering precise shipping dates, which will make some iPhone 5 buyers uneasy.

Those who really want to get an iPhone 5 on launch day do have alternatives. Apple retail stores will have iPhone 5s available for purchase, but these stores usually sell out of new iPhone models quickly. Camping out for hours (or days) in advance is the only way to guarantee you’ll have a spot in line that’s far enough up to get one. If waiting in line isn’t your cup of tea, you can always pay someone else to do the waiting for you.

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iPhone 5 Pre-order Ships in Two Weeks, Rather than One Week

Verizon and Sprint are still selling the iPhone 5 with a September 21 delivery date. New and existing customers should place their orders there to avoid the wait. AT&T’s wireless site is inaccessible for many users and its account tools are up and down due to heavy traffic. Some iPhone 5 shoppers are reporting that AT&T is still quoting the September 21 delivery date, but you might want to take that info with a grain of salt until AT&T sorts out the mess.

Best Buy, Radio Shack and Wal-Mart are all taking iPhone 5 pre-orders. You may want to head out to your local retailer first thing in the morning if you’re frustrated by the iPhone 5 online pre-order process.

Remember, wireless carriers aren’t being very generous with early upgrades this time around, so you may be able to save yourself between $200 and $450 by forgetting about being first to get the iPhone 5 and waiting for your upgrade eligibility to roll around.

Apple’s new iPhone 5 is the first substantial redesign since June 2010. It features 4G LTE wireless technology, a larger display and iOS 6, Apple’s latest operating system.