A month later, the iPhone 4S is still in short supply

My Dad has a hard time understanding pre-ordering a device or waiting in line on launch day. “Just wait a week and you can walk into the store and get one in five minutes,” he says. Well, recent trends with Apple product launches tells another story. It’s now been over a month since the iPhone 4S went on sale in the US, and it’s still difficult to find one.

Potential 4S customers are reportedly facing at least a two-week wait for Apple’s latest toy, and that’s if they’re lucky! Sprint customers have the shortest wait time, up to 14 days. AT&T subscribers aren’t so lucky – their average wait time is 21 days. Similarly, Verizon Wireless customers must sit tight for three weeks before their orders are filled.

Despite rumors earlier this month claiming that iPhone 4S sales had been slower than expected, it seems Apple simply can’t create the things fast enough. According to Brenda Raney, a VZW spokeswoman, ““Not only was the iPhone 4S popular when it was introduced, but the popularity continues to build. We don’t want to keep our customers waiting for their purchases.” But wait they must.

Now, my family is on an AT&T family plan (I know, I know…). My sister went to our local Apple store looking to upgrade from her 3GS to the 4S a few days ago, but she left empty handed after employees informed her that they were totally out of the model she was looking for (white, 16 gig). In the end, she ended up ordering direct from Apple’s online store and has now joined the countless other excited customers engaged in the waiting game.

What’s more, it seems she isn’t alone. A recent Deutsche Bank survey revealed that, out of 30 Apple retail stores, a whopping 85 to 90 percent of them reported daily sell-outs of the 4S.

So what’s the deal here? Why is Apple having so much trouble meeting consumer demand? Tim Cook went on record saying that he believes the 4S will set a new record for iPhones in the current holiday quarter, which is great for Apple, but bad for us. It seems that a combination of higher-than-ever domestic demand coupled with Apple’s fastest world-wide rollout ever has resulted in serious inventory issues.

Let’s just hope Apple sorts everything out ASAP, because with the holiday shopping season just around the corner, this shortage could result in a lottt of unhappy customers.

Have you guys experienced any of these issues, either in Apple stores or carrier stores? Let me know your inventory woes in the comments section below or on twitter.

Via: AppleInsider (via: WSJ)

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  • TOR

    Ordered two iPhone 4S’ on AT&T through Apple’s website two days after it came out. Called the apple store the day after I ordered it, they had them in stock (one black 16, one white 32) So I cancelled the order and got them at the store. Another line on my plan got the 4 (8gb) but decided he wanted the 4S last week. The Apple store in Tampa still had them in stock, but the problem was since he was new to AT&T there was no way to return the iPhone 4 unless the swap was done in an AT&T store, you can’t return the phone to AT&T then get the other from Apple when you are a new customer. So after a long frustrating argument at the AT&T store he had to order the 4S and have it shipped to the store. The store shows that the phone has been shipped, so after about a week, the 4S (White 16) should be in the AT&T store… finally. 

  • Hockykd007

    i have to wait till the 28th for my unlocked white 16 gb

  • JB

    In NZ  pre-orders opened on the 4th Nov and in store sales on the 11th November. In my town (population 70,000) there were no queues at the Telecom shop and no problem getting the phone so I was able to cancel my pre-order and then was in and out of the shop in 15 min!!  And over here you dont have to buy them locked to a plan which is great. 

  • Lunardragonofdarkness

    A few days ago on Sunday, I went to my local Verizon store with my mom (She and I are on a family plan together, and the family plan is in her name) so I could get the 4S.  My mom also wanted to switch to an iPhone from her old Droid X since it was constantly going haywire, but she didn’t want to pay another $200 for one, so I let her have my iPhone 4 for free!  When I ordered my 4S, the receptionist said that I would not be able to get it in the mail until December 8-9th next month.  So we both left the Verizon store empty-handed, but with the peace of mind knowing that we would be getting new phones for the holiday season!  (Mind you my iPhone 4 isn’t exactly “new”, but it still works without any problems and has lasted far, far longer than my mom’s Droid X would ever have.  And she was getting it from me for free!)

    Now we wait until December, when I can get my iPhone 4S and my mom can get my iPhone 4 activated on her line.  So, until that happens…  *whips out Minecraft: Pocket Edition on iPhone*

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