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Expect Long Lines and Few Phablets as iPhone 6 Goes on Sale Friday

Retailers and carriers are preparing for a quick sellout, especially for the larger iPhone 6 Plus model.

Vjeran Pavic for Re/code

For those who didn’t preorder their iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, Friday’s retail availability marks the best chance to find one before October.

However, carriers and retailers are saying they expect initial in-store supplies to sell out quickly, especially for the larger iPhone 6 Plus, which is already backordered online, with shipping times stretching well into next month.

“At this time, Sprint’s inventory on iPhone 6 Plus is extremely limited and we are in backorder,” a Sprint representative told Re/code. Those who have already preordered should get the device in the time frame they were quoted (either three to four weeks or four to six weeks). Customers can also order the device in store as of Friday, with delivery times currently expected to be four to six weeks.

Other carriers privately echoed sentiments around tight supply, especially for the larger model. However, several carriers said they are cautiously optimistic that even if initial iPhone 6 allotments sell out fast, Apple may quickly resupply the stores.

Best Buy, meanwhile, which supports all four U.S. carriers, said select stores will have the iPhone 6 Plus starting at 8 am tomorrow. The retailer chose not to take preorders for that device.

Apple said it has received a record number of preorders for the iPhone 6 — four million in the first 24 hours.

Despite brisk advance sales of the iPhone 6, Bernstein Research technology analyst Toni Sacconaghi estimates that first weekend shipments may not match or surpass combined initial sales of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. He noted that China is not included among the launch countries for the next-generation phone, nor does Apple have a new model at the lower end or midrange. And, Apple itself may be dealing with supply constraints for some of the components used in the new iPhones.

Meanwhile, for those who can’t get their hands on the iPhone 6 Plus, Re/code is here to help. Here’s a fun 3-D render, courtesy of SketchFab.

Additional reporting by Dawn Chmielewski.

This article originally appeared on

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