The iPhone 5 began its official rollout today with reports of lines of people and decent initial stock at Apple Stores around the world. As has been typical of recent iPhone releases, queues generally stretched into the hundreds of customers, though some of the first people waiting in various cities have been outed as marketers and small business people looking for media attention. Pre-orders for the new iPhone notably began one week ago, with launch day devices going out of stock within roughly one hour; subsequent shipments were projected to take two or more weeks. Apple subsequently said that first-day orders had topped two million units, doubling the company’s previous record.
A report from iLounge’s Nick Guy notes that launch day iPhone 5 inventory may be limited at local Apple Stores due to varying supplies of iPhones in different capacities, colors, and carriers. Some models are believed not to be in stock at all, while other supplies are limited; certain low-end 16GB models are reported not to be available. Launch day stock levels at Apple’s cellular partners have traditionally been low, and may be further constrained by the ever-increasing number of carriers now demanding immediate inventory. Apple’s online store still shows three- to four-week wait times for new iPhone 5 orders placed today.