Apple shares jump, hit record high on "iPhone 5 fever"
By Poornima Gupta and Sayantani Ghosh
(Reuters) - Apple Inc shares jumped on Friday, touching a record high on what one analyst called "iPhone 5 fever" as the company said some customers must wait two to three weeks for the new, slimmer, faster smartphone that accounts for half its revenue.
Apple's U.S. store, at www.apple.com, was projecting shipments for the iPhone 5 would take two weeks to fulfill, with analysts saying the date slipped within an hour of the start of presales.
The company's website showed buyers in United Kingdom, France and Germany would have to wait as much as three weeks to receive orders when the iPhone 5 starts shipping next Friday, the first day of deliveries.
AT&T Inc, Verizon Communications Inc and Sprint Nextel Corp -- the three US carriers who will sell the iPhone 5 -- showed delays ranging from a week to a month by Friday afternoon.
"Pre-orders for iPhone 5 have been incredible," Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said. "We've been completely blown away by the customer response."
Apple did not give any further details on the demand. A Verizon spokeswoman said the company has seen "significant volumes" since it started accept pre-orders. AT&T and Sprint did not return messages for comment.
The new model would also be available in Apple's stores next Friday for walk-in purchase. Retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Best Buy Co are also taking preorders.
"Clearly, iPhone 5 fever is in full swing," Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White said. Continued...