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Desperately seeking iPhone 5?

- September 25th, 2012
Southgate Edmonton iPhone 5

iPhone 5 lineup Edmonton’s Southgate Centre (Friday Sep 21)

 

Apple has sold over  5 million*  iPhone 5 models in the first three days following its official release last Friday. It’s a hit! So, unless you had previously reserved one, if you’re looking at taking one home today, whether or not you’re looking for an unlocked model, chances are, you’ll likely walk away disappointed. But not all hope may be lost, especially if you’re willing to do a little legwork, perhaps make a few phone calls and have a little patience.

One individual, Alex, was very happy to get his new iPhone without any muss, fuss or lineups.

“I just walked up to a Wireless Wave kiosk and not long after, walked away with my new iPhone.”

A casual visit to an Edmonton Apple Store around suppertime last night did not yield the same results.

“We had some earlier today but there gone.” adding, “but we might have some tomorrow,” I overheard an employee say.  “It depends on what the FedEx truck brings.”

The hit and miss story seems to be the same at a number of other retailers without a lot of definite answers.

 

Ordering On-Line

Checking online, it appears that Rogers is taking reservations for the new iPhone 5. They are charging a  $40 fee to secure a place in line that’s refundable when your device is actually shipped or reservation cancelled. They do not guarantee that you will get your new iPhone 5 before others, but if you don’t get your phone within 14 days they will give you a $50 credit on your account. Of course, restrictions apply.

 

bell iphone 5

 

For Bell Mobility, they are quoting availability in 2 to 3 weeks plus 3 to 5 days delivery time for new customers. No indication if that is any different for existing clients. Online, Telus Mobility is saying to “order it now and have it delivered to you by October 12th.”

AppleiPhone5 34 weeksUnlocked iPhone 5

If you are looking for an unlocked iPhone 5, i.e., one without a contract, the story is the same, but a little different. The short answer is that no, you can’t get one today, but the story varies depending on the vendor. If you like to buy directly from Apple, for now and until further notice, you cannot buy one at the Apple Store. In fact  this past Friday when a hundreds of people lined up hours ahead of time to be one of the first in line  (see top photo) to get their new prized possessionm they were sadly disappointed to find out that their efforts were for naught; only iPhones 5′swith a contract would be available that day.

The Apple store online is currently quoting availability in 3 to 4 weeks. Rogers is listing a no-term no-contract price but availability is not indicated. Over at  Telus Mobility, their  FAQ specifically states that the iPhone will not be available without a contract during the pre-order phase and until phones are available at their storesStores. Bell Mobility, on their pre-order page  does not offer any option other than  a 3-year term and makes no mention of no-contract pricing.

For now, it looks like until the huge demand tapers off or supply becomes a little more readily available you may have to go on a little reconnaissance mission if you can’t wait to get your new iPhone 5. Like Alex, you never know, you might just get lucky.

Did you buy a new iPhone 5? If so where and when did you get it? Did you have to overcome major hurdles or obstacles to get it? Is it unlocked?

I’d love to hear from you.

*Update 26/9: iPhone 5 pre-orders topped 2 million in first 24 hours; iPhone sales were over 5 million in first 3 days following launch.

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Greg Gazin is the Real Canadian Gadget Guy.

Follow me on Twitter @gadgetgreg or Empire Avenue (e)GADGET1.

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15 comments

  1. iphone 5 cases | September 26, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Thanks you for this article, lots of people are now facing the problem of unlocking the iphone 5 and it will be worldwide when Apple distribute the iphone to the rest of the world. I want to clarify also that Apple sold only 5 millions on the week end and 3 million devices in the first 24 hours. There was this analyst who predicted that Apple sell 10 million devices before the end of this year but from what I can see, it will be within the next month.
    Regards,
    Matt

  2. Greg Gazin | September 26, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Thanks for the heads up Matt! I’ve reconfirmed the official numbers and updated the post. Either way, it’s a lot of iPhones!

  3. Kevin | September 28, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I just wanted to echo the idea that you can get a new phone in unusual places if you just ask…. and maybe get a deal too.

    I’d tried a Bell store, but they were out. I was heading home and stopped in at the Superstore (Loblaws) by my house. It turns out that they’re launching their own wireless kiosks and have deals until the end of the weekend.

    They had a phone for my wife and they’re bringing in one from another store for me (I get it Monday).

    To top it off, I chatted up the manager a bit and was able to get some Superstore gift cards. I ended up getting a great deal out of the blue.

  4. Greg Gazin | September 28, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Kevin,

    Very cool, glad to hear you didn’t have to play the waiting game, or at least a too long of one!

    I had no idea that Superstore was getting into the phone game, but I guess, why not?

  5. Jonny Rand | September 29, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Are consumers really this stupid and gullible … The new iPhone is bereft of innovation and new features. The cost benefit makes no sense if you really engage your brain. New maps … EPIC FAIL. Old apps don’t work properly or cannot make use of screen real estate. And what about some of those replacement accessories … force me to spend even more.

    Also Apple continues to use an abused workforce in China to produce the phone … Americans talk this patriotic talk but its all BS if they continue to support Apple.

  6. Greg Gazin | September 29, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Jonny, obviously 5 million people like it!

  7. Jen McE | October 1, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    I’m desperately seeking a case… the selection out there is not so hot! As for finding my iphone- I had no problem finding them at different stores all over but nobody had any white ones! Took a couple days but I found one finally :0) Jonny- the iphone works great with all of the other apple products we have in our house (imacs, apple TV, Ipads, etc.) I’d be crazy to try anything else.

  8. Autumn | October 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Anyone know where I can get an unlocked white iphone 5? Buying one for my mom for her birthday but I have no idea if I have to do the whole pre-ordering process o.o (never bought an iphone or anything apple before). For those who bought it at superstore, do they sell them unlocked?

  9. Greg Gazin | October 3, 2012 at 12:24 am

    Jen, I’m sure cases are trickling in. Make sure the case you get fits well. I’ve already heard of a complaint or two.

    Autumn, you might just want to give Superstore a call or check the links to the telcos. Apple is still showing 3-4 weeks.

  10. ender | October 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Hi, I’ll be coming overseas to St.John’s, NL and intend to buy an iphone5 16GB without contract and sim unlocked. I’ve tried on-line shopping but it shows shippin is 3-4 weeks. I’ll be there between 14-18 Oct 2012. I strongly want to buy but nothing to do from here, europe. Can you give some advice or tell about any shops in St.John’s, NL having this phone to buy when I’ll be there. Thank you in advance. Ender

  11. Sandra | October 17, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Jen I think he is referring to other devices like Bose sound docks for an example the iPhone 5 will not work on these…they changed it on the 5. Which means purchasing new sound docks at 300 plus…

  12. Greg Gazin | October 17, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Sandra, when we refer to will not work, it’s not that you can’t plug it in for sound, you can usually do that through an AUX in port, it’s just that you may not be able to use the existing 30 pin docking connector on the accessory with the new phone. But I agree, it’s sad that you may not be able to use them as designed.

  13. silverfox | November 23, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Anyone know how to unlock a Bell iPhone 5. Anyone I call say they can not do it

  14. Michelle | December 10, 2012 at 10:03 am

    anyone know how I can unlock a Telus iphone5?

  15. Greg Gazin | December 11, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Telus has an FAQ on that. Not sure about the logistics if you are locked into a contract. http://www.telusmobility.com/en/AB/Unlock-Device/unlocking_your_device.shtml#Apple

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