Historical first? New iPhones fail to sell out (Apple Watch Series 3, too)

Historical first? New iPhones fail to sell out


latest iPhones
More iPhone buyers selected a newer phone, like the iPhone 8, than when the iPhone 7 line was new.
Photo: Apple

Note: This post, originally published at 2:44 a.m. Pacific, has been updated.

For the first time since the launch of the iPhone in 2007, the company’s latest models failed to immediately sell out.

More than 12 hours after pre-orders opened this morning, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus remain generally available for pickup at Apple stores next Friday, the first day they go on sale to the public.

Typically, new iPhones sell out within minutes because demand far outstrips Apple’s ability to produce its latest devices in massive quantities. Is iPhone 8’s surprising availability a total Apple fail that shows nobody wants one? Or is it a sign of Cupertino’s mastery of the supply chain and production?

This is the first time a new iPhone model has succeeded in meeting consumers’ voracious demand. Typically, new models sell out in minutes after online pre-orders open a week before the devices hit stores.

Of course, the iPhone 8 is a special case. The phone isn’t a flagship model — that title is reserved for the iPhone X, launching in November. And because the 8 and 8 Plus resemble previous designs, it may be the first time Apple has made enough handsets to satisfy initial demand.

As in previous years, the Plus-size iPhone seems more difficult to get your hands on, with shipping times slipping to one-to-two weeks for some finishes and some carriers. But even they remain available now, depending on your carrier, if you’re not picky about color or storage size.

Not sure which model you want? Read our guide: iPhone X vs. iPhone 8: Should you wait longer and pay more? Our original post appears below.

The good news?

That means if you haven’t already pre-ordered your iPhone 8, or an Apple Watch Series 3, there’s still time to claim one for launch day delivery.

The continued availability make it look like Apple’s latest devices aren’t selling as quickly as their predecessors, with many size, finish and carrier options still showing September 22 delivery dates almost three hours after pre-orders opened. The same can be said for Apple TV 4K with 32GB of storage.

When Apple opens pre-orders for a new iPhone, you usually get mere minutes to claim one before shipping estimates start to slip. If you don’t get your order in by around 8:10, you might as well forget about receiving it within two weeks of its launch.

But that’s not the case with iPhone 8. Almost three hours after pre-orders opened, many models are still available to order with delivery on September 22. Here’s how things stand as I write this:

  • iPhone 8 64GB
    • Silver — delivers September 22
    • Gold — ships in 1-2 weeks
    • Space Gray — ships in 1-2 weeks
  • iPhone 8 256GB
    • Silver — delivers September 22
    • Gold — delivers September 22
    • Space Gray — delivers September 22
  • iPhone 8 Plus 64GB
    • Silver — ships in 1-2 weeks
    • Gold — ships in 1-2 weeks
    • Space Gray — ships in 1-2 weeks
  • iPhone 8 Plus 256GB
    • Silver — delivers September 22
    • Gold — ships in 1-2 weeks
    • Space Gray — ships in 1-2 weeks

Waiting for iPhone X

Of course, most Apple fans who stay up late to pre-order are keen to get their hands on the very best the company has to offer. That’s iPhone X, which isn’t available to pre-order until October 27.

Perhaps it’s not too surprising that iPhone 8 doesn’t look as popular as its predecessors, then. (A totally unscientific poll of Cult of Mac readers showed that a whopping 57 percent prefer an iPhone X to an iPhone 8.)

Apple Watch Series 3 availability

Apple Watch Series 3
Apple Watch with LTE is selling faster than GPS-only models.
Photo: Apple

Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE connectivity appears to be selling faster than the GPS version of Apple’s wearable — or else initial supplies were smaller — with shipping times slipping on some options. However, many are still available to order for September 22 delivery.

There are obviously too many combinations of Apple Watch models, sizes, finishes and bands to list here. However, if you’re looking for a 38mm Apple Watch, you won’t have too much trouble getting one. Almost all options remain available for launch day. Some 42mm models appear to have sold out, with shipping in up to 3 weeks, but there are some available.

If you want the more affordable Series 3 with GPS connectivity only, you should be able to find one with September 22 delivery in either size relatively easily.

Not sure which one you want? Read our guide: Series 3 vs. Series 1: Which Apple Watch is right for you?

Apple TV 4K availability

As for Apple TV 4K, shipping has now slipped to 5-7 business days for the 64GB model. However, the more affordable 32GB model is still available for delivery on September 22.

Obviously these things change quickly, so by the time you’ve chosen the device you want, the shipping estimate may be different. But the times listed above were accurate when this post was published.

Leander Kahney contributed to this report.


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