iPhone 5 ship times shorten for first time

New iPhone 5 buyers now face a shorter wait for a new device when buying from Apple's online store.

CNET

The wait for iPhone 5 purchases to ship has shortened by a full week today, nearly two months after the product's initial release.

New buyers from Apple's online store now face a two- to three-week wait before their phones ship, down from the three to four weeks that began stacking up in the days after pre-orders for the device began in mid-September, MacRumors notes.

The iPhone 5 launched in nine countries, including the U.S. and Europe, on September 21, and a week later in an additional 22 countries. During Apple's quarterly earnings call last month, the company noted that it was "working very hard" to replenish its supply of the devices, and that it had "significantly" improved its output of what CEO Tim Cook described as "the largest volume ramp in Apple's history."

The improvement in shipping times is still considerably longer than what consumers face when purchasing the iPhone from one of Apple's carrier partners. A report last week from research firm BTIG showed that new buyers can expect about a week's delay before devices ship.

Perhaps of note, the wait time remains longer than the wait for Apple's iPad Mini, which was released at the beginning of the month, and maintains a two-week ship time. Apple sold about two-thirds as many iPads (including the iPad Mini, the fourth-generation iPad, and the iPad 2) in the trio's opening weekend as it did iPhone 5s in September. MacRumors points out that today's decrease also happened a full month sooner than it did for ship times for last year's iPhone 4S.

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