Almost 8 weeks after it launched, those buying an iPhone 5 face a long wait. Investors are starting to become concerned that this is a sign there's something wrong at the company.
Some might think it's a good problem to have: a product so popular that its maker can't keep up with demand. But the wait for a new Apple smartphone isn't a trivial one, and it's getting longer rather than shorter -- in September, the wait was 2 - 3 weeks, and it's currently 3 - 4 weeks.
Terry Gou, the Chairman of Foxconn, the company that manufacturers most iPhone 5 units for Apple, said this week, "We can't really fulfill Apple's requests. Our shipments are insufficient... given the huge market demand." Gou said the design of the device is so complex it is difficult to assemble quickly, given Apple's very high standards.
The Waiting Is the Hardest Part
Not everyone is going to wait a month for their new smartphone. When told that a handset ordered today might not arrive until Dec. 6, some people are going to consider buying another model, like the rival Samsung Galaxy S III.
The thought that Apple is losing sales because of production delays is starting to effect the company's share price. It topped out at $705 on the day the iPhone 5 launched, but closed yesterday at $558, down 20%.
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