The new, almost iPad-mini-sized iPhone 6 Plus is already sold out for pre-sale on Apple's website and those rabid customers will now have a three- to four-week wait (and counting) for their big phones to ship. There also appears to have been some snafus with Apple's website in the early morning hours after the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus went on sale at 12:01 a.m. Pacific on Friday, with site apparently crashing for many users — and Sprint's online store crashed completely and remained down as of this morning. In the eyes of breathless tech journalists, it seems to be the worst Apple pre-sale disaster since the release of the iPhone 5, for whatever that's worth.

The 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, a first-of-its-kind larger-screen handset for the iPhone which has remained basically the same size since it was first released six years ago, has proven to be popular both here and abroad, with Mashable reporting that pre-sales are sold out in France and the UK as well.

As Businessweek reports, the market for big phones or "phablets" is growing, though it remains a minority stake in the smartphone market. A reported six percent of smartphone users were using phablets this year, up from three percent in February 2013, largely because of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

The official launch date for both phones is next Friday, September 19, and the smaller, 4.7-inch regular iPhone 6 is still available for pre-order.

It remains unclear if there will be any iPhone 6 Plus models for sale in stores in next week, or if this marks an overall delay in the supply chain.

Among frustrated consumers taking to Twitter to vent their frustrations with the pre-sale snafus, Thomas Ricker wins in my book.

[USA Today]
[The Verge]