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Customers Waiting for iPhone 5S Order to Ship

5:10 PM, Sep 25, 2012   |    comments
Pictured: iPhone 5S
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UNDATED - Hannah Francis' journey to an iPhone 5 has been bumpy from the start.

A week ago Friday, Francis, who lives 50 minutes from London, tried for hours to preorder the device online. It was all in vain.

The website for Vodafone, her phone carrier, buckled under the pressure of anxious Apple consumers hungry for the company's latest gadget.

"The website kept freezing because so many people were trying," Francis, 22, of Berkshire, England, said. "It was taking forever."

Calling the company just led to a long time on hold with no progress. Finally on Monday, she got a call back and put in her order.

Then she waited. And waited. And now, a day after the iPhone 5 hit stores, she still waits.

Saturday, Francis and others who pre-ordered the phone but didn't get it sounded off on social media sites, expressing anger, frustration and, in some cases, disappointment in Apple and themselves for not physically waiting in line.

"Just bought a iPhone 5 case and my phone didn't even come yet," one person tweeted.

Another: "Extremely disappointed my iPhone 5 didn't come yesterday. That's why I ordered it at 4:55 a.m. on the 14th. No straight answers."

And sadly, a third: "My brother just took two shots because his iPhone 5 didn't come today."

Francis, who works for a phone company, understands the feelings behind these disgruntled tweets."You wanted to be the first to get it," she said, adding that she didn't want to wait in line for hours. "I seem to have made the wrong decision."

Apple says iPhone 5 pre-orders topped 2 million in 24 hours, more than double the amount of iPhone 4S pre-orders. The company had said that while most pre-orders would be delivered on Friday, some of the devices are scheduled for delivery in October.

Now, Apple's website says phones ordered online will ship in three to four weeks.

This weekend, some stores reported having Apple's newest phone available for walk-up customers, though not all versions of it. A random check of about a dozen stores indicated that most were sold out.

A Verizon store in New York City said the 32 and 64 gigabyte models, but not the 16 GB version, were available. A Sprint store in a suburb of St. Paul,Minnesota, said all but the most expensive 64 GB iPhone 5s were sold out.

Apple and the phone companies haven't provided sales figures from the first day. Analysts say Apple likely will sell millions of phones in the first few days.

Unfortunately, Adam Damon, a sophomore at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, is stuck in a waiting game for his iPhone 5. Like Francis, he too is thinking about what he did wrong.

The 19-year-old rushed to Best Buy the day the store started taking pre-orders. For $50, Damon, who arrived two hours after the store opened, added his name to an iPhone wait list. Store employees said they would call when his phone was ready.

"I kind of had this sinking feeling that something would happen and they wouldn't get enough phones," Damon said.

His gut was right.

By 2:30 p.m. Friday, no one from Best Buy had called. So an anxious Damon called the store. "I was told once your phone comes in, we will give you a call," he said.

At 8:30 p.m., Damon called again. This time, a store employee said if he hadn't gotten a call, he would have to wait for the second shipment to come in. There's no telling when that will be, Damon said.

"Right now, I'm kind of waiting for them to get more inventory and hope that they get enough to cover me with the next shipment," he said.

In the meantime, Damon and Francis both say they have their iPhone 4 to cling to and aren't terribly troubled by their ordeals.

But, Damon has advice for anyone who really wants the next iPhone the day it comes out: "Be first in line."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 


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