Sprint is the only carrier offering on time iPhone 5 pre-orders

iPhone 5
Sprint's where you'll find the iPhone 5

Within an hour of Apple kicking off pre-orders for the new iPhone 5 at 12:01 a.m. PDT Friday, shipping dates slipped to two weeks - and show no signs of improving any time soon.

There were scattered reports of problems ordering from Apple's website when its virtual doors opened, with many buyers finding the company's Apple Store iOS app the best place to purchase.

Last year, the iPhone 4S sold through pre-order inventory in 10 hours, a record that's now been shattered 10 times over by the latest model.

The best bet for having one delivered on launch day now lies with only one of the three U.S. carriers.

AT&T, Verizon out of stock

It seems buyers are intent on having their iPhone 5 delivered rather than braving the crowds next Friday, Sept. 21, when there's likely to be ample stock at retail.

Verizon's website was the first carrier to sell out of the iPhone 5, with delivery dates already slipping to Wednesday, Sept. 26 on both colors and all three 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities.

AT&T followed suit a few hours later, with new orders on all colors and capacities now estimated to ship in 14 to 21 business days.

As of 10 a.m. Friday, Sprint stood as the lone U.S. carrier with inventory of all models still available from their online store, as well as promised delivery next Friday.

If you've got to have an iPhone 5 on launch day and don't want to brave the retail crowds, we'd suggest wasting no time by heading to Sprint.com as quickly as possible.

Via Apple, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint