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Apple warns of iPhone delivery delays in New York due to pope's visit

This follows a warning from UPS last week that residents in Washington DC and Philadelphia may be affected too.

The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus go on sale on Friday. James Martin/CNET

If you're a New Yorker, Pope Francis may be the reason why your new iPhone may be a day or two late.

The world's second-largest smartphone maker sent out emails to New York residents who have ordered a new iPhone 6S or 6S Plus via the online Apple Store, warning them that they may not receive their packages on Friday 25 September "due to traffic restrictions expected for that day in New York," according to The Verge. The reason: large crowds and additional security measures expected for the Argentina-born pope's first US tour.

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, has also promised that it will also be making Saturday deliveries "at most locations" and advises customers to track their packages through UPS for the latest details on when they should expect their new iPhones. UPS issued a separate warning last week to alert not only residents of New York, but also of Washington DC and Philadelphia that services would be impacted. According to the memo, deliveries should be running as normal in Washington DC by Friday morning.

Ordering an iPhone ahead of time has become an increasingly popular way to ensure that the new model arrives on the first day. It's a practical alternative to joining the inevitable queues that spring up around the block at Apple stores around the world. Apple said earlier this month that preorders were "very strong," and that the company was on pace to surpass last year's opening weekend launch.

While many customers won't mind waiting an extra day, early adopters might feel frustrated by the delays caused by the pope's visit.

A spokesman for Apple wasn't immediately available for comment.

Apple's retail stores will have stock for walk-in customers, the company said, but customers keen to get an iPhone on day one will probably have to endure long lines, and of course, won't be guaranteed that the model they want will be in stock. Apple said that its stores would begin selling the new iPhones at 8 a.m. local time around the world.

The delays are restricted to specific metropolitan areas on the East Coast of the US, so everyone living outside of that area should receive their iPhone orders as expected.