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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    I'm *really* surprised that there hasn't been an event invitation sent out yet.
  • Reply 2 of 28
    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...
  • Reply 3 of 28
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 28
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 28
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 28
    desarcdesarc Posts: 642member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 28
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 28
    Weather related... Typhoon?
  • Reply 9 of 28
    jetzjetz Posts: 1,293member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 28
    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...
  • Reply 11 of 28
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 28
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 28
    jetzjetz Posts: 1,293member
    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?
  • Reply 14 of 28
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 28
    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
  • Reply 16 of 28
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 28
    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
  • Reply 18 of 28
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,158member
    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).
  • Reply 19 of 28
    The latest iOS 5 beta is the closest to final release.



    This is always the case, no?
  • Reply 20 of 28
    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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