If you are still humming and hawing about whether or not to order that brand new iPHone 5, then you may not wish to hold off on placing the order for too long, as customers who order the device today will already be waiting a significant amount of time before they receive their order. Due to the volume of pre-orders that have been placed for the new iPhone 5, shipping times for the device have now started to slip into the 3-4 week range, meaning that it could be almost a month before orders placed now are actually in the hands of their new owner.
Following on from earlier reports that the shipping delays were only affecting certain countries, it seems that the 3-4 week shipping estimates are now consistent across the board in all markets that it is due to launch in on Friday. The only exceptions are Japan and Hong Kong where the iPhone 5 will launch in retail stores on Friday and online pre-orders are not being accepted.
In the past, Apple has reserved a significant amount of stock when launch a new device that is distributed only in retail stores, so Apple retail stores will likely have a limited amount of iPhone 5 units for sale on Friday for those that have not pre-ordered. Given past history however, with the iPhone 4S as well as the iPad 2 and new iPad, this stock will be gone very quickly, and sporadic stockups in the past have sometimes made it difficult to get hold of a new device.
Recommendations are, at the moment, get that pre-order in asap.