iPhone 5S madness sees online stock levels plummet, as the queues grow ever longer

iphone 5s shipping times slip to 10 days vertical lineup

Check out our review of the Apple iPhone 5S smartphone.

The iPhone 5S is now available in several countries around the world, and online through Apple.com. As expected, the lack of a pre-order option means there is plenty of demand. In fact, demand for the gold iPhone 5S has been so great, it took just 30 minutes for the delivery time to slip until October at the earliest for those ordering online. It’s not just the gold phone that’s struggling to keep up either, as unlocked iPhone 5S models are already all listed with a 7-10 day shipping time from Apple.com. However, if you don’t mind signing up to a new contract, then they’re still on to ship in one to three business days, just don’t expect it to last.

How about the brave fans who’ve ventured out into the world to try and find an iPhone 5S in a store? In the UK, where the phone has been available for a few hours now, the queues have been formidable. Pocket-Lint described the scene outside the flagship Regent Street Apple Store in London as, “impressive,” and according to Om Malik of GigaOm.com, there were at least 600 people waiting in line, and another 500 over at another London Apple Store in Covent Garden. On Malik’s personal blog are pictures of the queues at the Stratford Apple Store, some 20 minutes outside London, which were long enough to put him and a friend off waiting, even at 6am. Back at Covent Garden, tech journalist Stuart Dredge posted this Instagram video of the hoards outside the store.

iPhone 5S Queue

A report by the BBC indicates an Apple Store is the best place to try and buy an iPhone 5S, as UK networks said stock levels were, “Severely limited.” The O2 network is in the unfortunate position of not having any iPhone 5S devices to sell through its stores at all, as thanks to low availability, it has put everything it has online. If you want an iPhone 5C though, there shouldn’t be a problem at all.

In the U.S. the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C will be available to buy in-store from 8am local time. How’s it looking outside a few hours before the doors open? It’s a similar story to the UK, as you can see from the picture above, which shows the scene outside the Partridge Creek Apple Store in Sterling Heights, Michigan at around 6am, where at least 125 people are queuing for the new iPhone. A further 13 are outside the local Verizon store.