O2 has admitted that its customers may face a delay of up to six weeks for the Apple iPhone 5S, while customers on Vodafone and Three may have to wait between two and four weeks to get hold of the device in certain colours and storage capacities. EE also appears to be struggling to meet demand.
Furthermore, Apple itself has said any orders placed online will only start being dispatched in October, with no more specific information provided.
Despite the device going on sale today in Apple retail stores, with around 200 people queuing for the new phone at the Regent Street store, O2 was forced to admit it does not have any stock in its stores.
Instead it said people could preorder the device and that they would then be told it was available via a text message within the next three to six weeks.
“We won’t have iPhone 5S stock in stores to sell but customers will be able to place their order with us in store," it said. "They can also order online or over the phone. If customers are in store they’ll be able to get a demo of the phone and place their order with the help of one of our store advisers."
"We anticipate that orders made in our stores for the 5S will be available to collect at the store in three to six weeks. The customer will receive a text when their handset is ready for collection."
However, despite these omissions, the firm's website shows that the 'space grey' model is in stock and will be delivered by 24 September.
A spokesperson for the firm said the huge demand for the iPhone 5S means it cannot guarantee exact delivery dates but that online orders could be delivered before the three to six week timeframe.
"Those who do go online to place their order could find that their new iPhone arrives sooner than the 3 to 6 weeks we’ve quoted than if the order is placed in store," they said.
Meanwhile, Three customers also face a wait if they want to get hold of the gold or silver version of the iPhone 5S, with delivery dates listed as 18 October on its website.
Vodafone told V3 it does have devices in stock. However, when attempting to order a gold or silver version of the device in all storage sizes – except a silver 16GB version – the website informs users it will take 2-4 weeks for the device to be dispatched.
EE also said it has devices in stock but its Orange and T-Mobile stores are not currently selling the device, with a link on the Orange website taking users to the EE store. This is no doubt because EE hopes to entice customers to its 4G network.
But at around midday today, the EE store was unavailable due to demand; users were placed in a queue to receive an update on when they can order their device.
The device went on sale this morning at Apple's own stores around the country, with eager fans queuing all night and through the morning to get hold of the device. It appears that the iPhone 5S remains the top draw, with customers showing little interest in getting hold of the mid-tier iPhone 5C.
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