Analyst: ‘Unprecedented Pre-Order Demand’ Delays iPhone Delivery Times

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus screen sizes


While the latest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models won’t arrive on store shelves until Friday, September 19, Apple and several resellers began taking pre-orders for the new devices on Friday, September 12. However, if you’re one of the many Apple customers who are trying to pre-order one of the new models, you may be in for a longer than expected wait. According to a note issued by Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White on Friday, pre-order shipping times for both devices are growing “like a wildfire” due to “unprecedented pre-order demand and supply constraints.”

While Apple typically doesn’t reveal any sales figures until after the initial launch weekend, a company spokesperson told Re/Code on Friday that “Response to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has been incredible with a record number of preorders overnight.” Meanwhile, there have been multiple reports of increasingly delayed shipping times from Apple’s major carrier partners, especially for the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus.

According to White — who has been monitoring Apple’s U.S. online store and other retailers since pre-orders for the devices kicked off at midnight — the estimated shipping date for the iPhone 6 Plus “has been lengthened to November 2 – November 27 from 35-42 business days as of 10:00am ET (it was at 21-28 business days as of 8:50am ET, and 14-21 business days at 4:00am ET).” As noted by Re/Code, “Apple and all the major carriers appear to have sold through their preorder allotments of the larger iPhone 6 Plus.”

While the shipping times for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 aren’t as long, customers who are preordering online will still likely get their devices after the September 19 launch date. According to Cantor Fitzgerald analyst White, AT&T’s delivery dates for the various color and capacity models of the iPhone 6 ranged from seven to thirty-five business days. “This is our biggest iPhone, pre-order launch day ever,” said Glenn Lurie, president and CEO of AT&T Mobility in a press release.

The substantial number of iPhone preorder requests apparently also caused technical problems for Apple’s online store and some resellers’ websites. According to customers who contacted Apple Insider, some iPhone shoppers were only able to access Apple’s website via an iOS app, rather than a traditional browser. Some of Apple’s carrier partners also experienced some technical glitches on Friday, as acknowledged by T-Mobile CEO John Legere in a tweet on Friday afternoon. “Apologies for any iPhone pre-order issues this AM,” wrote Legere. “Demand has been huge but we are on it. Keep us posted if you are still having trouble.”

Despite the lack of units for pre-order sales, it should be noted that Apple Stores, as well as other brick-and-mortar retailers, will still have some iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models available for in-store sales on September 19. In other words, if you want to get your hands on one of Apple’s latest iPhone models this month, you will most likely have to fight the crowds at a physical retail location.

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