- Associated Press - Friday, September 14, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) - Delivery times climbed quickly as Apple Inc. started taking orders for the iPhone 5 on Friday, suggesting strong demand.

Apple began taking orders for the phone at 12 a.m. Pacific time. It initially promised delivery by next Friday, when the new phone also goes on sale in stores.

Four hours later, the expected delivery time had grown to two weeks, according to Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White.

White said the quick rise in the expected delivery time suggested much stronger demand than Apple expected. Last year, one-week delivery of the iPhone 4S was available into the afternoon of the first order day.

“Clearly, iPhone 5 fever is in full swing,” White said.

By the afternoon, only Sprint was still promising delivery by next Friday. Verizon Wireless said delivery would take two weeks, and AT&T said it would take “14 to 21 business days.”

Apple’s stock rose $8.02, or 1.2 percent, to $691 in afternoon trading, after hitting an all-time high of $696.98 earlier in the day.

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