Delivery times have climbed quickly as Apple takes orders for the iPhone 5, suggesting strong demand.

Apple began taking orders for the phone at midnight Pacific time Friday, promising 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.

Less than four hours after that, Apple's website stopped taking orders, saying We'll be back.

White says the quick rise in the expected delivery time suggests 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 says.

Apple's stock is up 1.7 percent to $694.29 in morning trading.

The iPhone 5 carries upgraded features including faster data speeds, sports a taller screen and features new mapping software that is linked into the Siri virtual assistant. This is Apple's first mobile handset that uses new LTE wireless networks.

In anticipation of the release, several gadget makers refreshed their lineups last week, hoping to beat Apple on the buzz.

Sales of Apple's iPhones are still strong, though the company lost the lead in smartphones to Samsung this year.

Samsung Electronics Co. benefited from having its S III out in the U.S. in June. A new iPhone will allow Apple to recapture the attention and the revenue. Analysts are already estimating that Apple will sell 8 million to 10 million iPhone 5s before the company's quarter ends Sept. 30.

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