iPhone 5 Pre-Order Sells Out 20X Faster Than 4 And 4S, Further Highlighting Apple’s Dominance

Pre-orders for the iPhone 5 went live at midnight and, true to form, they went like hotcakes. You may remember that it took 22 hours for the iPhone 4S and about 20 hours for the iPhone 4 to sell out of its pre-order, launch-day stock.

The iPhone 5 took just about 60 minutes. Yep. One hour after pre-orders went live, Apple.com adjusted shipping expectations from one to two weeks due to the overwhelming demand.

Demand for the phone caused problems on Apple’s website and several of the wireless carriers’ sites, as many users were met with error messages when they attempted to pre-order the new iPhone. There’s always plenty of hubbub around Apple product launches, though the pre-order launch of the iPhone 4S came and went without problems on Apple.com or carrier sites. It wouldn’t be surprising if this turns out to be an indication of what’s to come.

All summer we were subjected to seemingly endless speculation and rumors regarding every last detail of the new, new iPhone. But, when it was finally unveiled this week, the reviews — which, while still characterized by the usual fanboi excitement — seemed more lukewarm than in years past. Even compared to the recent iPad/Mac event.

As is so often the case with Apple, the new phone looks great, with the bigger screen and improved speed ranking as my personal favorites. Yet, that being said, I haven’t yet seen the kind of mind-melting innovation and improvement that would justify pre-orders 20 times faster than the 4 and 4S.

Nonetheless, people are still ready to buy it in what will no doubt be massive numbers.

“Available to ship: 2 weeks”… man that last week it’s gonna feel like you have an old cement block in your pocket.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised anymore that Apple product launches somehow continue to exceed expectations, the machine reliably churning out another hit. But I am. Mostly because of how rampant the obsession is to buy the next generation of iPhone as soon as possible.

MG Siegler wrote yesterday about the way Apple showcases these events, discussing the turn and the prestige. But a couple of sentences really jumped out at me beyond the presentation of the phone.

The bottom line:

That’s why Apple is now the most valuable company in the world. And that’s why you will buy an iPhone 5. And an iPhone 6. And beyond.

That’s what really matters. The bottom line sits atop everything else. And the bottom line is that, despite the phone not having any of those drastic changes some hoped for (NFC?) and a lack of an overwhelming “wow” factor, so many people went online at midnight or past — on a work night no less — to shell out hundreds of dollars for a pre-order jubilee that had sites crashing and the first batch selling out in 60 minutes.

That’s why Apple is the most valuable company in the world.

The question is: The iPhone 4S had Siri, which captured our attention in full, even if she’s been a disappointment since … so what feature or tool will be that for the 5?

Update: The ship time on Apple’s site is now 2-3 weeks:

And Apple spokeswoman Nat Kerris told AllThingsD: “Pre-orders for iPhone 5 have been incredible. We’ve been completely blown away by the customer response.”