On the fence over whether to preorder Apple's
new iPhone 5? It's a big decision, considering you're either locking yourself into a two-year service agreement or paying a hefty price for an unsubsidized model, but do yourself a favor and make it quickly. If you don't, a shortage of iPhone 5 devices could ultimately make the decision for you.
First and foremost, this is a new Apple product launch, and that in and of itself could lead to a shortage of devices, like it has in the past. However, the real issue Apple is contending with is that Sharp is reportedly having trouble producing iPhone 5 displays in a timely manner, which could lead to a shortage of phones, especially if demand for the device is strong.
As the story goes, Apple and Hon Hai Precision Industry (Foxconn) already stepped in once to help Sharp get started on mass producing iPhone 5 displays at one particular plant, which is expected to be operating at full capacity by the end of the month. It also helps that LG Electronic and Japan Display Inc. are also building screens for Apple's newest smartphone, but it's not enough to fully account for Sharp's production delays.
None of this matters if you're not interested in the iPhone 5 anyway, but if you are, play it safe and make a decision as quick as you can. As of right now, new orders on Apple's website (which it just started taking today) show they'll be available to ship in 2 weeks, which is a week after it will be available in stores.