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Tuesday, October 05, 2010, 09:35 am PT (12:35 pm ET)

Apple improves US iPhone 4 shipping times to 5-7 days

Supplies of the iPhone 4, constrained since the device's June launch, have improved slightly, with the handset now advertised for shipping within 5 to 7 days from Apple's online store.

Both models of the iPhone 4 — in 16GB and 32GB capacities for $199 and $299, respectively, with AT&T contract — now ship within 5 to 7 business days. The 8GB, $99 iPhone 3GS ships within 1 to 2 weeks, while the white iPhone 4 remains unavailable.

The change in shipping times would imply that Apple has begun to catch up with strong consumer demand for the iPhone 4.

Shipping estimates had remained at three weeks or longer since the handset launched in June. In its first three days of availability, the phone sold a record 1.7 million.

But Apple has struggled to meet demand since launch, as supplies for overseas expansion have been constrained. Last month, the iPhone 4 launched in China, and carrier China Unicom was only able to fulfill about half of the preorders placed by customers.

In a similar fashion, Apple could not meet iPad demand for months after the touchscreen tablet launched in April. It took until late August for the Cupertino, Calif., company to improve online order shipping times to 24 hours.

iPhone 4


The white iPhone 4 is still listed as unavailable, and Apple has not provided an update on the status of the device since July, when it said the product would not be available until "later this year." The company has said that the white model proved "more challenging to manufacture than expected."