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Apple's iPhone 4 ship times slip ahead of iPhone 5 debut

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
All new iPhone 4 orders in the U.S. now take one to three business days to ship through Apple, a sign that the company is running low on inventory ahead of introducing its fifth-generation model.

Previously, orders of the iPhone 4 for both AT&T and Verizon shipped within 24 hours. That fast turnaround applied to both black and white models, in capacities of 16GB and 32GB on both carriers.

But as of Thursday, AppleInsider discovered that the iPhone 4 now takes one to three days to ship direct from Apple, for all colors, capacities and carriers.

Similarly, the $49, 8GB iPhone 3GS, only available through AT&T in the U.S., also takes one to three business days to ship. The same applies for those who want to buy the unlocked GSM iPhone 4.

Lengthening shipping times are often an indication that Apple is running low on inventory ahead of a product refresh. For example, in February MacBook Pro shipments slipped to three to five days immediately before new models were introduced.

However, while shipping times for the iPhone 4 have slowed in the U.S., abroad they still have a 24-hour turnaround time. For example, in the U.K. and France, new orders still ship within a day of being placed.



Last year, the iPhone 4 debuted in the U.S., France, the U.K., Germany and Japan, before quickly expanding to other countries. In its first three days of availability, the iPhone 4 sold 1.7 million units.

This year's introduction of a fifth-generation iPhone will come with a later-than-usual launch date, as Apple in years past has released a new iPhone in the months of June or July. Apple is widely expected to host an event in the coming weeks to introduce the so-called "iPhone 5" ahead of an anticipated October launch.

The updated handset is expected to include a new, higher resolution 8 megapixel camera, as well as the high-speed A5 mobile processor currently found in the iPad 2. Rumors have been split as to whether the fifth-generation iPhone will sport an all-new design or one similar to the iPhone 4.
post #2 of 29
I'm *really* surprised that there hasn't been an event invitation sent out yet.
post #3 of 29
All the iPods also have 1-3 days up to 1-2 weeks for shipping. Just get it over with my kids and I are sick of waiting...
post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalpen View Post

All the iPods also have 1-3 days up to 1-2 weeks for shipping. Just get it over with my kids and I are sick of waiting...

Hmm, I'd take a higher capacity Classic. 160GB gets smaller all the time.
post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimUSCA View Post

I'm *really* surprised that there hasn't been an event invitation sent out yet.

I was thinking the same thing... this is all feeling very "last minute," like Apple is trying to resolve some lingering issues.

I also suspect that Apple will be permanently moving the annual iPhone launch to Sept/Oct, in order to match the expiring contracts of their customers.
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... sign that the company is running low on inventory ahead of introducing its fifth-generation model. ...

This is more likely part of a planned drawdown than an inventory problem as implied.
post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by cajun View Post

I was thinking the same thing... this is all feeling very "last minute," like Apple is trying to resolve some lingering issues.

possible iOS 5 is still not fully baked. i read a rumor on another site that Foxconn isn't packaging the new units yet because they haven't received the OS from Apple. ...No pressure on the software developers there.
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by cajun View Post

I was thinking the same thing... this is all feeling very "last minute," like Apple is trying to resolve some lingering issues..

Agreed. It looks like Apple is going to make the iPhone 5 available for preorder (at the very least) on day one. I'm not a programmer, but I can't imagine the difficulty in getting iCloud and iOS 5 to function together as expected in the first release. Wasn't it the 3Gs launch in conjunction with Mobile Me that was problematic? And then there's FCP X. I never though I'd see Apple attempt something so large in so short a time again.
post #9 of 29
Weather related... Typhoon?
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post #10 of 29
I'm always surprised/skeptical that shipping delays are indicative of new product. Apple will keep selling the iPhone 4 after the next iPhone is out. So why would they cut back production to such low levels right now. It shouldn't be that big a deal if a little inventory is built up.
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

I'm always surprised/skeptical that shipping delays are indicative of new product. Apple will keep selling the iPhone 4 after the next iPhone is out. So why would they cut back production to such low levels right now. It shouldn't be that big a deal if a little inventory is built up.

Maybe the shipping delays are being caused by people rushing to buy the iPhone 4 before it is discontinued...
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post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimUSCA View Post

I'm *really* surprised that there hasn't been an event invitation sent out yet.

I'm not surprised at all.

I'm expecting a media event on Tuesday the 20th or the 27th, meaning invitation e-mails a week prior. I actually think the 27th is a more likely date, with iPhone shipments on Friday October 7th.
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

possible iOS 5 is still not fully baked.

You wouldn't think that if you'd used it. It's doing quite well. Any software holdbacks would be related to iCloud on its own, and I'm okay with that.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Maybe the shipping delays are being caused by people rushing to buy the iPhone 4 before it is discontinued...

LOL. Perhaps....which brings me to my next point....why would anybody plunk down the full price for an iP4 just weeks before the next iPhone is out?
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

LOL. Perhaps....which brings me to my next point....why would anybody plunk down the full price for an iP4 just weeks before the next iPhone is out?

Because the ten thousand people here who actually know or care anything about release cycles are the extreme minority.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

I'm always surprised/skeptical that shipping delays are indicative of new product. Apple will keep selling the iPhone 4 after the next iPhone is out. So why would they cut back production to such low levels right now. It shouldn't be that big a deal if a little inventory is built up.

*guessing* that the iphone 4 will be immediately replaced by a 4s. perhaps just an updated radio making it a world phone to match the iphone 5's radio
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

I'm always surprised/skeptical that shipping delays are indicative of new product. Apple will keep selling the iPhone 4 after the next iPhone is out. So why would they cut back production to such low levels right now. It shouldn't be that big a deal if a little inventory is built up.

Yes, they will, but it's likely not going to be the 16GB and 32GB versions. The iPhone 3GS was only available in 16GB or 32GB until the iPhone 4 came out, then they started offering the 8GB version.
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

I'm always surprised/skeptical that shipping delays are indicative of new product. Apple will keep selling the iPhone 4 after the next iPhone is out. So why would they cut back production to such low levels right now. It shouldn't be that big a deal if a little inventory is built up.

That's because they don't sell the 16gb and 32 models when they introduce new models eg.The 3GS is only in 8gbs now that it's been superseded by the iPhone 4
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post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

possible iOS 5 is still not fully baked. i read a rumor on another site that Foxconn isn't packaging the new units yet because they haven't received the OS from Apple. ...No pressure on the software developers there.

The latest iOS 5 beta is the closest to final release. It is stable and does not drain the battery like the previous betas. I think maybe one more beta, with NewsStand and other features enables, before the GM release. I think the delay might be iCloud. I don't think Apple want to take any chances with iCloud.

My guess is that Apple will announce new iPhone, iPod touch, and iOS 5 features later this month with HW release 3 to 4 weeks later and iCloud+iOS GM immediate availability (public release the week before HW release).
post #20 of 29
The latest iOS 5 beta is the closest to final release.

This is always the case, no?
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

The latest iOS 5 beta is the closest to final release. It is stable and does not drain the battery like the previous betas. I think maybe one more beta, with NewsStand and other features enables, before the GM release. I think the delay might be iCloud. I don't think Apple want to take any chances with iCloud.

My guess is that Apple will announce new iPhone, iPod touch, and iOS 5 features later this month with HW release 3 to 4 weeks later and iCloud+iOS GM immediate availability (public release the week before HW release).

From what I've tested out iCloud happens to work pretty well but who knows maybe millions of users will crash the servers compared to thousands of developers
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post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimUSCA View Post

I'm *really* surprised that there hasn't been an event invitation sent out yet.

that will happen two days before release.

Apple is been burned before.
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post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by uplate View Post

*guessing* that the iphone 4 will be immediately replaced by a 4s. perhaps just an updated radio making it a world phone to match the iphone 5's radio

In reality they should keep the 3GS around and sell it for buttons.
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post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimUSCA View Post

I'm *really* surprised that there hasn't been an event invitation sent out yet.

I was thinking the same - not even any cryptically named events at the S.F. convention center. Seems kinda weird.
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierrajeff View Post

I was thinking the same - not even any cryptically named events at the S.F. convention center. Seems kinda weird.

They don't use the SF Convention center for announcements like this. They announce these at the Apple campus.
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierrajeff View Post

I was thinking the same - not even any cryptically named events at the S.F. convention center. Seems kinda weird.

They only use Moscone Convention Center for WWDC.

Larger media events take place at the Yerba Buena Center theater. Smaller media events happen at the town hall space on campus.
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

that will happen two days before release.

Apple is been burned before.

Nope, typical lead time for media invitations is one week. It's really the more respectful way to treat the media, letting them have ample lead time to clear their schedules and book travel.
post #28 of 29
Meanwhile in Australia the 8GB 3GS has dropped to free on a $29 plan or $434 outright on prepaid.

iPhone 4 pricing has remained the same.
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post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You wouldn't think that if you'd used it. It's doing quite well. Any software holdbacks would be related to iCloud on its own, and I'm okay with that.

I agree. The iOS5 beta has become pretty stable. One bug I did find was that the dictionary does not work in iBooks. I tried to use the Dictionary option on a few words in a book and all I got was a blank balloon over the word. However, I am one version behind the latest release, so I should download the latest beta and see if it is fixed.
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