SPECIAL REPORT: All out of the iPhone – why you can’t find the nation’s new toy in Murray

Because of the high demand worldwide, the iPhone 5 is unavailable at local retailers, leaving some customers waiting indefinitely. || Photo courtesy of macworld.com

Because of the high demand worldwide, the iPhone 5 is unavailable at local retailers, leaving some customers waiting indefinitely. || Photo courtesy of macworld.com

Locals looking to get their hands on Apple Inc.’s new iPhone 5 may have a little waiting to do as a worldwide demand has stalled shipments in the U.S.

By Sept. 17, pre-orders for the up-and-coming phone had sky-rocketed past 2 million units after the Sept. 12 release, shattering the pre-order record of 1 million units for the iPhone 4 set in 2010.

A mere 72 hours passed after the live release of the iPhone 5 when, on Sept. 24, Apple announced it had sold 5 million units, putting a huge strain on supply lines for the device.

Just one hour after the iPhone 5 became available for online preorder, Apple changed shipping estimates varying from three days to three weeks, compared to the 22 hours it took for the iPhone 4S and the 20 hours required for the iPhone 4.

Earlier in the year analysts projected anywhere between 6 million and 10 million units were going to be sold in the first weekend, and yet 5 million units sold is constricting the demand of the iPhone 5.

With initial shipments to the Murray AT&T store selling out in quick fashion, students and faculty will have to wait until late October to purchase the new phone.

Though employees at the Murray AT&T store declined to comment due to corporate policy, a sign was posted on the door.

“We are sold out of all iPhone 5s,” it read. “Thanks, AT&T.”

While customers have resorted to online ordering, problems are arising for local residents.

Chris Bradley, manager of Bradley Books in Murray, said he is still without a new phone and he isn’t too thrilled about it.

“I ordered the phone a few weeks ago,” Bradley said. “It still hasn’t arrived and it’s frustrating.”

However, some people have been lucky concerning their preorders, already receiving phones despite the demand problems Apple continues to face.

Haley Thomason, Murray State alumnus from Murray, said she had a quick turnaround after her shipping confirmation changed just days after her purchase.

“I ordered my iPhone 5 in the second round of shipping,” Thomason said. “The website originally said it may take 14 to 21 business days to ship, but it shipped on Sept. 24 and made it by Sept. 25.”

C.J. Houston, a senior history and theater major from New Lenox, Ill., said he believes there is something more behind Apple’s struggles to meet demand.

“It’s not really because of marketing,” Houston said. “It’s mainly due to Foxconn temporarily shutting down. I’d expect shortages on a lot of your favorite things.”

Also known as the Hon Hai Precision Industry, Co., Foxconn is a Taiwanese multinational electronics company located in Tucheng, New Taipei, Taiwan.

A private-sector employer, the world’s largest maker of electronic components closed one of its largest factories in Taiyuan, China on Sept. 24 when riots involving 1,000 workers broke out against security guards of the facility.

The riot came just three days after the release of the iPhone 5, and Apple has confirmed the plant was a major contributor of components for the new phone.

Apple has since commented on the delivery issue, stating the demand obviously outweighs the supply as ship dates are being pushed back on a daily basis until production increases.

Cook said the demand obviously outweighs the supply as ship dates are being pushed back on a daily basis.

“Demand for iPhone 5 has been incredible and we are working hard to get an iPhone 5 into the hands of every customer who wants one as quickly as possible,” Cook said in a release. “While we have sold out of our initial supply, stores continue to receive iPhone 5 shipments regularly and customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date.”

For now, Apple’s hottest new product will have to be something worth waiting for to many Murray residents effected by the iPhone shortage.

Story by Edward Marlowe, Staff writer.