I’m sure you already know this, but, today iPhone 5 pre-orders kicked off at 12:00am Pacific/3am Eastern/8am BST. At least, they were supposed to. Apple seemingly didn’t get its store page back online for at least 50 minutes after the scheduled release time.

According to various reports and Apple’s site, the first batch due for delivery on September 21st is already taken, and shipping times have slipped back to 2 weeks. Surprisingly, it only took an hour or so to reach this critical stage. I’ve checked both the UK and US stores, and they both have the same disparaging message: “despatched in 2 weeks”.

Fortunately, I got my order through as soon as I could using Apple’s store app. Unlike previous years, it went through the first time of asking. Now, turning back to the issue of delays, in years gone by it’s taken much longer for the first assignment to be sold out.

Last year it took almost an entire day – or 22 hours if you want to be more precise. This year was under two hours. There could be many reasons for this.

The first option is that Apple may not have had as many iPhone units ready in time for pre-order this year. There have been reports in the recent past stating that different stages of manufacturing were experiencing difficulties, leading to a possible delay in production.

The second – with a more positive spin – is that the Apple Store didn’t get as bogged down and was better prepared for the huge spike in traffic. Orders weren’t delayed due to errors and everyone got theirs through as smoothly as I did. The third, and least likely is that the iPhone 5 isn’t as popular as the iPhone 4S.

In every previous year the new generation of iPhone has sold more units than all the previous ones added together. There’s no reason why that wouldn’t happen again with Apple’s best phone yet.

If you have to have the new iPhone on launch day in a week’s time, your only option now is to go line up on the day (or night before) outside a store.

Did you pre-order, which size/color? How was the experience, buggy or smooth?

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