No matter how disappointed some critics may have been about the iterative (rather than revolutionary) design of the iPhone 5, the device is clearly fated to be one of, if not the, best-selling consumer electronics device in history.
Preorders for Apple's new smartphone started at 12:01 PDT (3:01 EDT) this morning. According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple sold out of its initial U.S. shipments of the device within one hour. This is true for every U.S. carrier that is selling the iPhone: AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint have pushed back their shipping dates for the device to two weeks, according to the Apple website. The AT&T website still claims that preordered devices will arrive on September 21st, though, making it unclear as to whether the carrier still has iPhones to sell or whether its website update has been delayed.
Customers can still preorder the phone, of course, but the shipping times for the device have been pushed back a week. If customers have not been able to preorder their iPhone 5 within that first hour, it appears their only option for getting an iPhone 5 on its September 21 launch day is to wait in one of those long iPhone launch day lines in front of an Apple store.
The sellout of the initial shipment of the iPhone 5 is not surprising, but the speed with which it sold out makes it clear that Apple is, inconceivably, becoming even more popular in the eyes of consumers. Weeks before the announcement of the iPhone 5, an industry analyst predicted that 10 million iPhone 5s could be sold during its first week on sale.