New iPhones set off flurry of pre-orders

The new iPhones are selling like hotcakes.

Shortly after Apple’s latest phones went up for pre-order on Friday, the major carriers appeared to have drained their supplies. At a star-studded event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino on Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook made official the company’s latest offerings: the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, with screens of 4.7 and 5.5 inches, respectively.

If early reports are any judge, many consumers seem to agree with Apple that bigger is better. AT&T indicated on its website Friday morning that the iPhone 6 would ship sometime in October, whereas the larger iPhone 6 Plus would not go out until November. Verizon’s website forecast an Oct. 7 delivery date for the iPhone 6 and an Oct. 21 arrival for the iPhone 6 Plus.

Sprint’s website appeared to be buckling under high traffic, with a message advising users: “We are excited, and now we know you are excited too! There seem to be quite a few of your trying to get into our online store to see our new phones and plans. We will be back online soon with a new device, a new plan and a new way to buy.”

T-Mobile’s website also appeared to be on the fritz Friday morning. Tech blog Re/code reported Friday that an attempt to order the iPhone 6 Plus generated the following message: “Due to high demand, your Apple product may not be available for immediate shipping. Once we are able to complete your order, you will receive a notification when your product has shipped.”
A spokesman for AT&T told Re/code that the demand for Apple’s latest phones surpasses what the company has seen in the past two years.

Analysts predicted that consumers would clamor for the new phones. Apple has been slow to embrace the movement for larger screens, but it is a feature many consumers have shown they want.

“Most of the people things are doing with their phones today really cry out for a larger screen,” Bob O’Donnell of TECHnalysis Research told the Mercury News at Apple’s event on Tuesday.

Consumers are scrambling to pre-order the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)



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