iPhone 5 shipping 3-4 weeks

If you haven’t pre-ordered your iPhone 5 yet, and you don’t want to wait in line for it at your local Apple store, you could be in for a very lengthy wait for the Cupertino company’s latest handset. The Apple online store is now quoting a shipping estimate of 3-4 weeks for all three storage capacities in both black and white — no matter which carrier you choose.

It took just one hour for shipping estimates to slip to 2-3 weeks after iPhone 5 pre-orders went live on Friday, September 14, and we knew they’d get worse before they starting getting better. With that said, you may want to think about picking your new smartphone up from somewhere else.

Of course, your best option may be to try a local Apple store a few days after the iPhone 5 goes on sale. They will be receiving regular deliveries of the new device, so you may be lucky enough to pick one up relatively easy later on if you don’t mind waiting. The other option is to try third-party retailers like Best Buy or Target, which may not attract quite as many customers on Friday morning.

If you’re in the U.K. like me, you can currently pick up the iPhone 5 from Carphone Warehouse, and the retailer is still promising launch day delivery on September 21. It’s likely that it hasn’t quite seen the same demand Apple and the carriers have, so it still has stock to sell.

Are you hoping to pick up an iPhone 5 on launch day?