Such has been the demand for the new iPhone 5 that ardent Apple fans are already facing three weeks’ delay for their new device.
Pre-orders have opened to huge demand, with mobile networks and Apple appearing unable to cope with the clamour for the upgraded gadget.
Apple is now saying that buyers who want the 32GB model will be waiting two to three weeks while those trying to purchase the 16GB and 64GB will have to wait two weeks for a dispatch.
The reported delays come after claims that Apple is facing a shortage of the new, taller screens for its iPhone 5 because of slow production rates at Sharp, which is one of its biggest suppliers. America’s Wall Street Journal said that Sharp had only now begun shipping its finished screens to China for assembly after problems at one of its plants.
02 also seems to be struggling to cope with demand as it had delayed publishing its iPhone 5 price plans while other operators, including 3, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone had already taken pre-orders as soon as they were allowed to.
It comes after Apple released the prices for its unlocked phones – a 16GB will cost £529, while the 32GB model will set you back £599 and the 64GB is set at the price of £699. But obviously monthly costs are less providing you take out an iPhone 5 on a contract. Here’s our round-up of what the major operators are offering:
Three’s The One Plan, which is a 24-month contract, costs £36 per month, plus £79 upfront for a 16GB; £39 per month and £89 upfront for the 32GB and £42 per month with £109 upfront for the 64GB.
The offer includes all-you-can-eat data, 2000 minutes, 5000 texts and 5000 three-to-three minutes. The downside is that three isn’t expected to upgrade its network to superfast 4G until next year but you should be able to upgrade in 2013 and simply use 3G in the meantime.
Again, you won’t yet be able to use 4G but Vodafone’s 100 plan will cost £25 a month, which gives you 100 minutes, unlimited texts, 100MB of mobile internet data and 2GB of free Wi-Fi. You’ll have to pay upfront though – £249 for the 16GB, £349 for the 32GB and £409 for the 64GB.
Or you could opt for one of the Vodafone Red plans, at £37 per month and upfront costs from £99 to £289, or £47 a month and no upfront costs if you opt for the 16GB. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay £89 for the 32GB and, for the 64GB, £169.
The 4G operators
EE, Orange and T-Mobile are offering similar deals. T-Mobile has 24 month plans at £36 per month, which will get you 2000 minutes, with an upfront cost ranging from £109 to £269.
Orange has a £36 per month The Works plans, with 1GB of data and phone prices from £110 to £270.
The big advantage with these companies are the forthcoming EE 4G packages. Orange and T-Mobile’s sites both say: “As a T-Mobile or Orange customer, you’ll be able to move to EE for a superfast mobile internet the moment it lands.”
That, of course, depends on customers being able to get their hands on the new devices they’ve ordered.