Unprecedented Demand For iPhone 4S Still Forcing Customers To Wait For Weeks

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iPhone 4S

Carriers are still citing shipping dates of more than 2-3 weeks for the month old iPhone 4S. The Wall Street Journal reports that surprisingly high demand is to blame for the short supply, not problems in manufacturing.

It’s been more than a month since the iPhone 4S was released and all three US carriers who sell the device are in short supply, as are Apple stores. Wait times for delivery are still lengthy, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Verizon Wireless customers may have to wait more than three weeks for the device, according to the carrier’s website. That compares with as much as 21 days at AT&T and up to 14 days at Sprint Nextel.

After being sold-out for launch day in the 24 hours after its announcement, Apple reported that over 4 million units were sold in its opening weekend worldwide. Apple instituted a reservation system online in order to buy one. After 9 PM, customers can go online and see if the iPhone 4S is in stock at their local Apple store. If so, they can reserve them and come in the next day. If there are any left after reservations are fulfilled, they are available to buy for walk-in customers. The system has been in place for weeks now, and with the holiday shopping season upon it, there’s little likelihood that sales will slow down.

Apple Online Store, 1-2 Weeks Wait Time

The carriers seem to agree that the cause is not slow manufacturing as some tech blogs are suggesting, but rather higher than expected demand. The iPhone 4S’s popularity has been building since launch, and so the demand has been steadily rising as well. Apple has been also steadily launching iPhone 4S worldwide and is now available in over 44 countries.

“We are having some supply issues in the sense that demand’s huge,” AT&T’s president of emerging devices, Glenn Lurie, said Wednesday. “We have had just record-breaking sales on it.”

Tim Cook, Apple’s new CEO, told reporters last month that he expects to set a record for iPhone sales this quarter.

 “We are working hard to get iPhone 4S in customers’ hands as quickly as possible.”

If you’re looking to buy an iPhone 4S, you can also try to make reservations on Apple’s website after 9PM. Apple does not disclose shipment information, but local carrier stores often do, so that’s another possible avenue. Of course, you can always cut out the hassle by ordering one online and waiting the 1-2 weeks until it arrives.

[via Wall Street Journal]

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