iPhone 4S demand continues to overwhelm US carriers a month after launch

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Wireless carriers in the U.S. continue to struggle to keep up with demand for Apple's iPhone 4S more than a month after the handset first went on sale.



Continued long waits for the iPhone 4S were profiled on Thursday by The Wall Street Journal, which found that Verizon Wireless customers must still wait more than three weeks for their purchase to arrive. It's an average 21-day wait at AT&T as well, where Sprint customers must wait up to 14 days.



The report is yet another to refute previous claims that Apple was experiencing slower-than-expected demand for the iPhone 4S. When those rumors first cropped up out of the Far East earlier this month, analysts on Wall Street were quick to refute the claims, but Apple's stock price was still affected.



The Journal characterized the initial sales of the iPhone 4S as quite the opposite of the rumors, calling them "unexpectedly strong" in the first month.



"We are having some supply issues in the sense that demand's huge," AT&T president of emerging devices Glenn Lurie reportedly said. "We have had just record-breaking sales on it."



Similar comments came from Verizon, where a spokeswoman said that demand "continues to build" for the iPhone 4S. The nation's largest wireless carrier said it is working with Apple to increase inventory.







It's been a similar story in Apple's own retail stores, as one survey conducted earlier this month found that 85 percent of the company's locations were seeing daily stock-outs of the iPhone 4S. And Apple is in the midst of its fastest worldwide roll-out ever, with strong international demand as well.



The record setting pace of the iPhone 4S continues after Apple sold more than 4 million of the handset in its first weekend. That more than doubled the company's previous record of 1.7 million iPhone 4 units in the summer of 2010.



During his company's quarterly earnings conference call in October, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said he's confident that a new record for iPhone swill be set in the current holiday quarter. The previous record came in the company's June quarter of this year, when Apple moved 20.34 million total iPhones.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    My dad switched from a Samsung Andy Andy clone phone to the 4S. Loves the camera, speed. AT&T told him 21 days, but he got it sooner than that; in about 2 weeks.
  • Reply 2 of 23
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,529member
    I was able to walk right into a Best Buy in Raleigh, NC and pick up a white 32GB iPhone 4S last week.



    People should try Best Buy instead of being jerked around by Apple or the carriers.
  • Reply 3 of 23
    I ordered a black, 16gb iPhone 4S from the Apple website on Friday night, 11/11. I was told it would be 1-2 weeks before it would ship and the expected delivery was between 11/28 & 12/2. I got an email within 18 hours saying it had shipped and that the new expected date was 11/17. It actually showed up on 11/15 so I was pretty pleased with the shipping performance from Apple.
  • Reply 4 of 23
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Weird, no such problems in the UK. You can walk into an Apple store and pick one straight up.
  • Reply 5 of 23
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member
    Nobody would ever wait 21 days for an Android phone.

    In three weeks there'll be a new one with a 0.1" bigger screen and 0.1 GHz faster processor.
  • Reply 6 of 23
    My son bought one at the Apple store this past Sunday afternoon. He bought a white 4S w/32GB. They said they all types in stock for AT&T.
  • Reply 7 of 23
    msanttimsantti Posts: 1,377member
    Meh.



    iPhone 4s is going to bomb.
  • Reply 8 of 23
    Just got my Sprint 16GB this week. I waited less than a week even though the web site had said it ships in 1-2 weeks. Just lucky? Incidentally, just switched from Android.
  • Reply 9 of 23
    I walked in to ATT on launch day at 9 am...no lines....



    Walked out at 9:15.



    I have no idea on what basis this headline is, well, based.



    Most stores in my area are fully stocked.
  • Reply 10 of 23
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by msantti View Post


    Meh.



    iPhone 4s is going to bomb.



    "? Android into rubble.", or does your comment stop where you ended it?
  • Reply 11 of 23
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,512member
    I very recently ordered my wife's on line from Apple, an AT&T version, white 32 gigs. It was a two week wait it said ... it arrived three days later!
  • Reply 12 of 23
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,125member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post


    Nobody would ever wait 21 days for an Android phone.

    In three weeks there'll be a new one with a 0.1" bigger screen and 0.1 GHz faster processor.



    true



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by msantti View Post


    Meh.



    iPhone 4s is going to bomb.



    It's already a bomb<sarc>



    I plan to upgrade next month so I'm glad I won't have to wait too long.
  • Reply 13 of 23
    And all of this incredible sales velocity perfectly explains AAPL's stock being hammered, right? Ah, well... buy it while you can. Next quarter is going to be a barnburner.
  • Reply 14 of 23
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by msantti View Post


    Meh.



    iPhone 4s is going to bomb.



    Wow, for a connected person of the 21st century, you don't surf a whole lot do ya?



    We'll, let me be the first to inform you that analysts that actually DO know about these things have already called "successful". I'll call it Apples' latest superstar



    In the interest of full disclosure, this response was merrily dictated using a shiny new 64gb 4s.



    Happy Holidays everyone!
  • Reply 15 of 23
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Client of mine was worried about getting her iPhone on Sprint but she was able to walk into a store and pick up a 16GB today. So maybe Apple is prioritizing store stock these days. Certainly the worldwide roll-out is going to impact stock that Apple has available, and it may be that the carriers in the states have contracts that ensure them a certain supply so that Apple doesn't just cut off the spigot when China Mobile calls.
  • Reply 16 of 23
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,031member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    Client of mine was worried about getting her iPhone on Sprint but she was able to walk into a store and pick up a 16GB today. So maybe Apple is prioritizing store stock these days. Certainly the worldwide roll-out is going to impact stock that Apple has available, and it may be that the carriers in the states have contracts that ensure them a certain supply so that Apple doesn't just cut off the spigot when China Mobile calls.



    With so many posting that iPhones were readily available for them, perhaps this report was just an attempt to create the impression there's a shortage of iPhone S models. No one in this thread seems to have a problem finding one in stock, or at worst available within a couple of days. Odd. . .
  • Reply 17 of 23
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    With so many posting that iPhones were readily available for them, perhaps this report was just an attempt to create the impression there's a shortage of iPhone S models. No one in this thread seems to have a problem finding one in stock, or at worst available within a couple of days. Odd. . .



    Absolutely, no doubt a massive marketing machine is at work as well as a rabid fanbase. That said, two of the three people I recommended the 4s through Sprint waited only one day. They placed an order through Apple and retreived them the following day. The third placed an order through ATT and is still waiting one week later.



    And this type of hype is common with all smartphone launches. Ultimately, it's units shipped in a quarter that counts as a marker.
  • Reply 18 of 23
    Welcome the amazing stock sell off dropping 40 points and counting even though they keep exploding in sales.
  • Reply 19 of 23
    I ordered a 32gb iPhone 4S (unlocked) last Friday from Apple's site. Says ships 1-2 weeks and delivers between 11/28 and 12/2.
  • Reply 20 of 23
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    With so many posting that iPhones were readily available for them, perhaps this report was just an attempt to create the impression there's a shortage of iPhone S models. No one in this thread seems to have a problem finding one in stock, or at worst available within a couple of days. Odd. . .



    Odd? Not really. Sure, the tone of the article was a little breathless, but if you bothered to read the words and think about them just a little bit, you wouldn't be so perplexed.



    Here, read this paragraph again:

    Quote:

    It's been a similar story in Apple's own retail stores, as one survey conducted earlier this month found that 85 percent of the company's locations were seeing daily stock-outs of the iPhone 4S. And Apple is in the midst of its fastest worldwide roll-out ever, with strong international demand as well.



    Now let's think about it. First off, only 85% of Apple stores are showing stock-outs.

    Second, of those 85% that do show stock-outs, they are reported as "daily" meaning that they start each day with some stock.

    Finally, "stock-outs" does not mean "completely sold out" so it is likely that at the end of the day in those 85% there are only certain models or selected carriers that are sold out.



    So, in essence, you could say that most of the stores are stocked much of every day with a variety of phones.

    Your claim that the article was trying to give the "impression" of a shortage is a mischaracterization. I think the point is more that there is a high volume being sold. High daily demand. For many this is not surprising, but there were people who claimed that the 4S would be a collossal dissappointment because it was not a 5...
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