US Carriers Still Struggling to Keep Up With iPhone 4S Demand

Apple has received a lot of criticism over the iPhone 4S since it was unveiled last month. After an additional 5 months of waiting for an announcement, a lot of folks were disappointed when the rumored iPhone 5 didn’t turn up at Apple’s event.

But that hasn’t seemed to affect sales of the device. More than 4 million iPhone 4S units were sold during opening weekend. US carriers sold out of their stock within 48 hours, and now, more than a month later, they still can’t seem to keep up with consumer demand…

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that US carriers are struggling to meet consumer demand for Apple’s latest handset. AT&T and Verizon subscribers are looking at a three week wait for the device, and Sprint 4S orders are taking at least two weeks to fulfill.

While supply problems are typical for Apple products after launch, operators say they’ve never seen anything like this:

“We are having some supply issues in the sense that demand’s huge,” AT&T’s president of emerging devices, Glenn Lurie, said Wednesday. “We have had just record-breaking sales on it.”

Verizon Wireless is experiencing similar demand:

“A spokeswoman for Verizon Wireless, Brenda Raney, said the carrier is working with Apple to increase its inventory of iPhone 4S models. “Not only was the iPhone 4S popular when it was introduced, but the popularity continues to build,” she said.”

With many outlets reporting at least a two week wait for the smartphone, you may not want to hold off much longer if you’re hoping to snag one before the holidays. Your best, and likely fastest, option is to reserve one at your local Apple Store. Apple generally gives its stores stock priority over its partners and other retailers.