Want an iPhone 5? Haven't yet pre-ordered one? You'd better don the parka for the iPhone 5 launch on Friday morning because the latest dispatch estimate suggests you won't get your hands on one for a while by ordering online.
Before today, the estimated dispatch time on the Apple Store for an iPhone 5 was "2-3 weeks", but now Apple has changed that to "3-4 weeks" as the first few waves of stock continue to be sucked-up by avid Apple fans. The same figure stands for all six versions of the iPhone 5 - all three storage capacities in black and white.
Apple said that demand for the iPhone 5 had outstripped supply on Monday, confirming that not everyone will be able to board the iPhone 5 train from day one. However, demand not outstripping supply would be a bigger story from such a popular series of phones. Over two million iPhone 5s were pre-ordered within the first 24 hours of availability, putting this immense popularity in perspective.
If you want to get hold of an iPhone 5 this Friday, when the phone officially goes on sale, you can queue up with the rest of the Apple fan association outside an Apple Store. Apple's high street branches will open at 8am on the 21 September, with the Regent Street flagship expected to amass quite a crowd ahead of its opening.
The pre-order delay has not just hit the UK - other key territories including the US and Canada have also had their predicted shipping dates pushed back to "3-4 weeks". Although the iPad 3 launch saw fairly plentiful stock available on the high street on launch day, it wouldn't be sensible to expect the same with the iPhone 5. Considerable stock has to be distributed to mobile phone networks as well as more traditional retail stores, so Apple's own stocks may well be too small to meet initial demand.
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The impact of the iPhone 5 has caused Apple stocks to soar above $700 a share for the first time, representing 73 percent growth within this year. Sterne Agee & Leach Inc analyst Shawn Wu has predicted that the iPhone 5 will sell at least 26 million units in the remainder of the year, and says "We think that could turn out to be conservative."
If you want to give Apple's share price a further nudge, the iPhone 5 starts at £529 SIM-free for the low-end 16GB edition. Feeling extra-flush? The top-end 64GB iPhone 5 costs £699. Alternatively, the phone will likely be much easier to get hold of tied to an expensive contract.