Public launch September 17 ahead of iPhone 6 debut.
Early iPhone 4S Shipment Notices, Delivery Still Likely on 14th
There have been several reports of readers getting ship notices for their early iPhone 4S pre-orders. These orders are starting to show up in UPS tracking databases with expected delivery dates ahead of the iPhone 4S launch date of October 14th.
Apple has in the past, however, coordinated with carriers to hold delivery until official product launch days, and it is likely the company will do so again for iPhone 4S. So, even with early shipment notifications, it's likely that most customers won't receive them until the 14th -- though there are occasional exceptions.
Readers are organizing in our iPhone forums to discuss their upcoming deliveries. Those who want to compare their tracking status changes can do so in these carrier specific threads: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and International. Meanwhile, if you are desperate to find your tracking number as soon as possible, one poster provides a tip that may provide you that information if your shipment has already moved to "Preparing for shipment".
The iPhone 4S has already sold out of the initial pre-order stock, so if you haven't ordered yet, your only chance of picking one up on launch day is to stand in line. Apple Retail stores will open at 8:00 a.m. on October 14th to sell the iPhone 4S on a first come, first serve basis.