As Christmas Nears, The iPhone 4S Is Still In Short Supply

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Just hear those sleigh bells
ringing and jing ting tingaling too
Come on its lovely weather for
an iPhone purchase for you!

Christmas is sneaking up this year and you better be prepared. The iPhone 4S is still in short supply at all three of the US’ wireless carriers. Verizon is suffering the worst with immediate shipping only available on two variations. Your best bet, that is if you need an iPhone as soon as possible, is ironically at the iPhone’s original carrier: AT&T. Good ol’ reliable seemingly has the best on-hand inventory of Apple’s latest smartphone.

The iPhone 4S is incredibly popular at Verizon. It’s the most sought after product for sure, said a retail assistant sales manager I spoke to this afternoon. And the carriers estimated shipping date for the iPhone 4S backs up his statement. Only the black version of the 16GB and 64GB models are available for two-day shipping. There is a relatively substantial delay for the rest. The 64GB white is slated for shipping next Friday while the 16GB white isn’t until the following Monday, December 12th. The 32GB black ships on December 16th while the white flavor isn’t available until the Friday before Christmas, December 23rd.

Sprint and AT&T are faring a bit better with on-hand inventory than Verizon. Per the Sprint website, both the 16GB white and black model are delayed but only by a week. Both versions of the 32GB and 64GB are apparently available for immediate shipping. Then AT&T buyers only need to wait for the 64GB which ships in seven to 14 days.

Oh, and you can forget about circumventing the delays by going directly to Apple. Apple.com shows more of the same. In fact all iPhone 4S incarnations are backordered 1-2 weeks.

The delay’s might not be indicative of a sales leader. AT&T did manage to activate more 2.7 million iPhones to Verizon’s 2.0 million. However, AT&T also offered the lower-priced iPhone 3GS where Verizon only had the iPhone 4.

Apple announced the iPhone 4S in early October and the handset immediately broke records and faced delays. Just days after pre-orders started Verizon and Sprint put up sold-out signs where AT&T simply pushed ship dates to 3-4 weeks. Apple previously stated that the iPhone 4S is the company’s fastest selling iPhone and the delays partly show the demand hasn’t slowed down.

With Christmas quickly approaching, don’t expect the estimated shipping dates to decrease. If you’re planning on gifting an iPhone 4S this year, get your carrier of choice on the horn to reserve yours as soon as possible. Or you could make a papercraft iPhone 4S and place that under the tree. Your call.