updated 08:55 am EDT, Fri October 7, 2011
iPhone 4S preorders already seeing delays
Strong demand in the wake of iPhone 4S preorders has manifested quickly just a few hours after they went live. Checks with Australian, Canadian, and multiple European stores all shows fresh orders now taking one to two weeks to ship. Some countries, like Japan, aren't taking direct online sales and make it harder to gauge interest.
Only the US is still promising October 14 delivery and is doing so for AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon. Apple usually gives its home country the largest amount of stock and may have scarcer supply of the unlocked models, which are sometimes the only option available directly from Apple in a given country. Most local carriers aren't revealing ship times.
Apple has already delayed US unlocked models to next month. It's still uncertain whether this is a supply issue or the result of carrier politics in the US.
The delays don't yet amount to a huge sellout but do show serious strain on Apple's worldwide supply, even for the more expensive iPhones. Its first-day demand is poised to be the real test as any lack of US delays could be a sign of a quieter launch than usual.