It appears Apple has finally solved its iPhone 5 production problems, as not only have delivery times dropped to a considerably more acceptable time through its online store, but the company has announced more than 50 countries will be receiving its latest smartphone over the coming weeks.
Things looked rosy last week, as Apple confirmed the iPhone 5, along with the new iPad 4 and the iPad Mini, would be arriving in China on December 14, plus an unlocked, SIM-free iPhone 5 went on sale in the U.S. through the online Apple Store too. It still has a one week turnaround before it ships, but in certain other stores — Australia for example — the shipping time has dropped to between two and four business days.
Who’s up next then? South Korea will get its own dedicated release day on December 7, followed by a host of countries including Russia, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Turkey, Israel, Cyprus, Malaysia and of course, China on December 14. Then, on December 21 everyone from Barbados to Vietnam will be added to the list. In total, Apple will bring the iPhone 5 to another 55 countries by December 21.
This is added to its existing total of 47 countries where the smartphone is already on sale, meaning in a few short weeks time, the iPhone 5 will be able to be purchased in 102 countries around the world. This is an important figure, as it has not only surpassed the iPhone 4S’s 70-country availability at the end of 2011, but it’s also — crucially — two more than Apple’s self-imposed target of 100 countries by the end of the year.
The last time we looked at Apple’s international rollout schedule, it was beginning to look like its plan to engineer a record-breaking final quarter would backfire, and demand would so drastically outstrip supply, that sales would suffer. Despite the launch of the iPad Mini, the iPad 4, new iPods and the new iMac, Apple will, somewhat impressively, manage to meet its target by the end of 2012; making the iPhone 5 Apple’s fastest product rollout yet.