The iPhone 4 has arrived, but for some people, the wait continues as Apple sprints to keep up with fierce demand for its latest gadget.
From Tokyo to San Francisco, some stores started selling out of the newest iPhone hours after it went on sale Thursday.
It seems even Apple was surprised by the number of people who wanted to snap up the fourth version of the iPhone. More than 600,000 had rushed to pre-order iPhones on the first day they were available, prompting Apple and its exclusive wireless partner in the United States, AT&T, to stop taking orders for pickup or shipment by Thursday's launch. On Apple's Web site, new orders weren't promised for delivery until July 14.
Apple spokeswoman Natalie Harrison said that demand was "off the charts," and that the company was working hard to get phones into customers' hands as quickly as possible.
Some stores sold out completely within hours. Brian Marshall, an analyst for Gleacher & Co., said certain Apple stores probably had enough iPhones to last into Friday before selling out. A new shipment could be in stores as early as Saturday, he said, but more probably won't arrive until early next week.
Apple is having a hard time getting enough of the new custom parts for the iPhone 4, such as its higher-resolution screen, Marshall said. Apple has said the white phone it plans to produce has been more challenging than expected and won't be available until late July.