Launch Day Reaction Mixed as iPhone 7 Shipping Estimates Improve but Some Reservations Turned Away
iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus launch fever has officially reached the U.S. and Canada, with the first pre-order deliveries and in-store availability beginning around 8:00 a.m. from coast to coast. Despite limited to no iPhone 7 Plus or iPhone 7 in Jet Black stock, long queues have still formed at many Apple retail stores in both countries.
Apple Eaton Centre in Toronto, for example, still had hundreds of people waiting in line, with separate queues for those with reservations and walk-in customers. Local news reporters said the iPhone 7 Plus was initially available, despite Apple's statement otherwise, but stock had depleted before 9:00 a.m. local time.
Customers relentless in their search for an iPhone 7 Plus have attempted to visit resellers like AT&T, Best Buy, and Target only to be disappointed, as supply of the 5.5-inch model is virtually nonexistent in any stores on launch day. Apple preemptively warned that demand would outstrip supply as usual, and it has not specified when iPhone 7 Plus and Jet Black availability will improve.
Meanwhile, investment firm Piper Jaffray counted around 400 people in line at Apple's flagship Fifth Avenue store in New York, down from around 650 for the iPhone 6s/6s Plus and some 1,880 for the iPhone 6/6 Plus. It cited three reasons it believes contributed to the shorter line this year: an increasing trend towards online pre-orders, the lack of iPhone 7 Plus stock, and fewer overseas resellers.
Elsewhere, the investment firm counted 45 people waiting at Mall of America, down from 60 people a year ago, and another 34 waiting at Apple Uptown, compared to 36 in line last year. Both stores are located in the Minneapolis area. MacRumors readers have shared photos of similar lines of various lengths in other locations, including the West County Center shopping mall in St. Louis pictured below.
Launch day reaction has been decidedly mixed, as some customers are beginning to see improved pre-order shipping estimates, while some others that reserved a new iPhone through Apple's Reserve and Pick Up or iPhone Upgrade Program were told their order could not be fulfilled today and forced to walk away empty handed.
MacRumors reader Chicagofan00, who pre-ordered a 256GB iPhone 7 Plus in Jet Black from Verizon, said his shipping estimate has been bumped up to Monday, compared to an initial September 26 to October 3 estimate.
Woke up this morning to a status of shipped and a delivery date of Monday. I'm slightly bummed it won't arrive today as it would have been nice to have the new camera capabilities for my daughter's birthday party this weekend, but in the end I'm fine with getting it on Monday as they are still delivering much earlier than the initial dates of 9/26-10/3.
MacRumors reader Michael is one of several readers that has contacted us about an unfulfilled reservation, with some others sharing similar experiences in our discussion forums as launch day continues.
Just left the Highland Village location where I had an 8AM appointment to pickup my iPhone 7 Plus/Black/256GB on iPhone Upgrade Program. Apple took 30 minutes to look for the phone before they finally told me they didn't have the phone. They didn't receive any iPhones that matched my option combo. No notification beforehand that the phone wasn't in inventory. They have no idea when it will come in but said it could be next week. Very disappointed in Apple. Waste of time. They should've known before the morning of that they didn't have the phone so they can notify people.
Apple will resume in-store reservations on September 17 at 12:01 a.m. local time in the U.S., at 8:00 a.m. local time in Australia, Canada, and Hong Kong, and at 6:00 a.m. local time in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the U.K., which should provide a bird's-eye view of in-store stock.