updated 11:50 pm EDT, Thu September 27, 2012
Foreign sellers report low delivery volumes, cancel pre-orders
With just two days to go until the end of it's fiscal year, Apple is launching the iPhone 5 in 22 additional countries as well as on a number of US regional and smaller carriers beginning Friday as early as midnight (local time zones). The Wall Street Journal reports that some foreign carriers have opted to cancel pre-orders of the iPhone 5 due to low delivery volumes. The major carriers and Apple itself in the US continue to experience severe shortages, with ordering times on Apple's site now 3-4 weeks. Friday will see a total of 31 countries selling the iPhone.
The 22 new countries added on Friday are Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. US regional carriers Appalachian Wireless, Bluegrass Cellular, C Spire, Claro, Cricket, Cellcom, GCI, Golden State Cellular, MTA Solutions, Nex-Tech Wireless, nTelos and Pioneer Wireless will also be carrying the iPhone 5.
Stock of the phone is expected to be available, albeit in limited quantities. Prices for the phone will vary, though Electronista has seen reports of deals as low as $99 from Puerto Rican carrier Claro, and $150 on nTelos and other carriers, each requiring a two-year contract. Larger-capacity models of the iPhone 5 are also expected to be offered by some regional carriers at up to $50 the usual Apple and major-carrier price, meaning a 32GB model could cost $250 and the 64GB model at $350. Cellcom has said it will offer the iPhone 5 at those prices, though plans for the phone start at $70 (unlimited texting and 200 voice minutes) and top out at $110 per month (unlimited voice and text, 2GB of data).
Most carriers outside the US are also offering prices on unlocked iPhones, as well as sale prices on the two older iPhone models. Telekom in Slovakia is selling iPhones in Eastern Europe for €679 (~$878US) for the 16GB model, $1,021 for the 32GB model and $1,163 for the 64GB version. T-Mobile and Vodafone will offer the iPhone in the Czech Republic, but at somewhat higher pricing (starting at $905US). Apple is selling the unlocked version of the 16GB iPhone 5 on its website in New Zealand for around $876US, reports 9to5Mac.