If you want an iPhone 4S but didn’t want to wait in line, you may be in luck. Some Apple Stores and other retailers still have the iPhone 4S in stock after the iLines have cleared.
My nearest Apple Store in Cincinnati was still selling the iPhone 4S for all carriers, although not all models were available on Sprint. 9to5Mac has also heard reports that the iPhone 4S is in stock at Apple Stores.
Best Buy’s online system shows the iPhone 4S in stock as well. In my area, Sprint iPhones are hardest to find, and there are more white iPhones than black iPhones in stock. Techland editor Doug Aamoth checked Best Buys in Boston and found plenty of stores carrying the AT&T and Verizon iPhone 4S, but not many Sprint models to be had. To check for yourself, head to Best Buy’s iPhone 4S page and click "Check Shipping & Availability" for the model you’re looking for. Best Buy isn’t taking online orders, though, so you’ll have to head to a store after confirming availability.
The situation reminds me of when the iPhone 3GS went on sale in 2009. There were iLines, of course, but later in the day people were able to waltz into Apple Stores and get their phones with less hassle. The line still has its perks in terms of comradery and excitement, I suppose.
Last year’s s iPhone 4 launch was worse, with supply shortages lasting for months. Apple seems to have a better handle on it this time around.
Read more about the life and legacy of Steve Jobs in the tribute book from TIME—Steve Jobs: The Genius Who Changed Our World