iPhone X pre-orders began at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time today and effectively sold out in just minutes. Orders placed now are estimated to ship in five to six weeks
, pushing deliveries into early December.
While the shipping estimates aren't a reliable indicator of iPhone X sales without knowing how much supply is available, Apple issued a statement to MacRumors indicating that customer demand is "off the charts."
We are thrilled to be taking orders for iPhone X, the future of the smartphone. We can see from the initial response, customer demand is off the charts. We're working hard to get this revolutionary new product into the hands of every customer who wants one, as quickly as possible. We will keep accepting orders online, and iPhone X will be available at Apple retail stores on Friday, November 3 starting at 8 a.m., as well as from our carrier and retailer partners around the world.
"The surging shipment lead times around the iPhone X approach the very popular iPhone 6 Plus," said Brian White, an Apple analyst with Drexel Hamilton, in a research note obtained by MacRumors.
The comparison with the iPhone 6 launch doesn't tell us much since, again, we don't know how much inventory was available on each launch day.
Gene Munster, a longtime Apple analyst turned venture capitalist at Loup Ventures, said he views Apple's current five to six week shipping estimate as a sign that demand for the iPhone X is "trending more favorable than investor expectations."
Munster created a chart
that visualizes exactly when the iPhone X shipping estimates changed throughout the early hours.
Leading up to iPhone X pre-orders, multiple reports suggested Apple's manufacturing partners were struggling to assemble the TrueDepth camera
and 3D facial recognition system that powers Face ID.
For this reason, several industry observers said the iPhone X would be in extremely short supply until next year. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo forecasted there would just two to three million units
available at launch.
Apple stopped releasing first weekend sales numbers for new iPhone models last year, as demand typically outweighs supply, so the company feels it is no longer a representative metric
for investors or customers.
Customers that missed out on pre-orders or face a lengthy shipping estimate can try their luck at Apple Stores on November 3. Apple said stores will have the iPhone X available for walk-in customers
on a first come, first served basis, and it suggested customers arrive early as it anticipates strong demand.