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iPhone Pre-Orders Delay Shipping, Competitors

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Apple’s latest model has been called a record-breaking success.

When a new iPhone comes calling, Apple’s fans and its competitors both get put on hold. Due to the more than one million pre-orders for the iPhone 4S placed since the gadget was announced last week, many are already being told to expect shipping to be postponed “one to two weeks.”

And not wishing to get overshadowed by Applemania, Samsung delayed the release of its Nexus Prime, which was due to be unveiled in San Diego tomorrow. Samsung claims the postponement was a way of paying respects to Apple’s former CEO Steve Jobs, who died last week. “We believe this is not the right time to announce a new product as the world expresses tribute to Steve Jobs’s passing,” it said in a statement. But not everyone is convinced. “That’s a weird justification,” says Edgar Dworsky, founder of ConsumerWorld.org. Who wants to go up against the new iKid on the block? Not Samsung, Dworsky says.

Loyal Apple fans may also fall victim to the phone’s success on future models. The demand for the iPhone 4S could ultimately lead Apple to hike prices for the iPhone 5 as it continues to dominate the higher end of the smartphone market, analysts say. “The iPhone 5 will have much faster LTE technology and is expected to look really different,” Dworsky says, “which may finally make it more expensive than previous models.”

Apple’s newest model is faster, if not slimmer or prettier than the iPhone 4, and has a better camera. But the deluge of pre-orders may be due less to the incremental upgrades than to the phone being available to Sprint customers for the first time, analysts say, as well as those on AT&T and Verizon.  “It’s not an apples to apples comparison with previous iPhone releases,” says Todd Day, analyst at Frost & Sullivan.

Are you waiting for an Android upgrade or going with Apple?

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About Pay Dirt

  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to quentin.fottrell@dowjones.com or tweet @SMPayDirt.

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