Apple sells out iPhone X pre-orders, wait time balloons to 5 to 6 weeks

At midnight on Thursday, it was pandemonium on Apple’s website.

Thousands of Apple fans around the world hoping to secure an iPhone X, starting at $999, flooded the website to lock in their pre-orders. Apple sold out its pre-orders in 17 minutes, and what began as a two- to three-week wait time grew to five to six weeks by 7 a.m., according to longtime Apple watcher Gene Munster.

Despite major concerns over manufacturing the deluxe iPhone and its brand-new parts leading to fizzled-out demand, Munster believes the demand shown on Friday bodes well for Apple’s share price and future prospects.

“Current lead times are 5-6 weeks, which we view as a sign that demand for the iPhone X is trending more favorable than investor expectations,” wrote Munster on his blog. “Previously we had published that if lead times were below two weeks by Sunday, Oct 29, we would have viewed that as negative for initial iPhone X demand.”

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Apple told media outlets it experienced “off the charts” demand for the iPhone X.

“We are thrilled to be taking orders for iPhone X, the future of the smartphone,” said Apple. “We can see from the initial response, customer demand is off the charts. We’re working hard to get this revolutionary new product into the hands of every customer who wants one, as quickly as possible.”

The long wait time is attributed to production issues the iPhone X faced over the past several months, especially with its new Face ID facial-recognition cameras and sensors. Because of the technology’s need for incredible accuracy, fragile cameras and microscopic parts, suppliers have faced difficulty meeting Apple’s expectations.

Bloomberg last week reported that Apple agreed to lower the accuracy of its Face ID sensors to boost production; Apple called the report “completely false.”

Apple is expected to have a much smaller volume of iPhone X units available in 2017. Japanese business news outlet Nikkei reported Apple had 20 million iPhone X in stock for 2017, half of what they initially expected.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said last week in a BuzzFeed interview that “we’ll be working as hard as possible to make as many as possible.”

For those needing instant gratification, the iPhone X will be available next Friday at 8 a.m. in Apple stores around the world. But due to the limited supply, it may be that each store will have fewer iPhones than usual for these public spectacles.

Apple advised fans to arrive early to get in line, but they can also order online to get on the current pre-order waitlist.

As of this post, Apple’s shares were up more than 3 percent.

Photo: Apple CEO Tim Cook greets guests at the grand opening of Apple’s Chicago flagship store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago on Oct. 20, 2017. The glass-sided store sits on the shore of the Chicago River in the city’s downtown. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)


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  • Jeff Safire

    Bullshit headline here. I can go online and still pre-order one right now. Has Silicon Beat made up their own definition for “sold out”?

  • MP

    SJ Mercury needs a lot better independent and critical reporting than this. Quoting canned superlative press release lines from Apple is not quality journalism. For example, lines like “we are thrilled,” “off the charts” and “revolutionary new product” are obvious marketing hyperbole and markers that the Mercury and its editors were asleep.