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TheStreet Open House

Why You Still Can't Get an iPhone 5 (Update 1)

Updated from November 7 to include updated ship time dates per Apple's Web site in the fourth paragraph.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Despite pundits initially saying Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 5 was a step back from previous handsets, it's still extremely difficult to get one. Demand is enormous, and Apple's supplier, Foxconn Technology, is reportedly having problems keeping up with the demand.

In quotes captured by Reuters, Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou discussed the difficulties of meeting the incredible demand for the iPhone 5. "It's not easy to make the iPhones. We are falling short of meeting the huge demand," he told reporters.

A look at Apple's Website confirms Gou's comments, as all three models (16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB) are back-ordered 3 to 4 weeks at the major iPhone carriers; AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ) and Sprint (S).

(Update: Apple's Web site has shown an improvement in iPhone 5 ship dates, as back orders have improved. They've moved from 3 to 4 weeks to 2 to 3 weeks.)

Apple announced that the iPhone 5 had the fastest selling launch of any phone in history, selling 5 million of the devices during its first weekend. That number disappointed Wall Street analysts and media alike (including myself), as many were expecting between 6 million to 8 million phones sold in its debut weekend.

With supplies continuing to be affected by component constraints, there were concerns that Apple would miss Wall Street iPhone estimates in its most recent fiscal quarter. Apple sold 26.9 million iPhones in its fiscal fourth-quarter, as the tech giant missed earnings estimates. Apple earned $8.67 per share on $36 billion in revenue.

Apple is clearly betting big (and rightfully so) on the iPhone 5's popularity, as it projects this holiday season will be its first $50 billion-plus revenue quarter. CFO Peter Oppenheimer expects 80% of Apple's revenue in the holiday quarter to come from new products launched in the past few weeks, most notably the iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5, despite not having every bell and whistle that fan-boys, bloggers, and Wall Street analysts wanted, is still selling faster than any phone Apple or anyone else has ever made.

Just try getting your hands on one.

Interested in more on Apple? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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