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Apple iPhone 5 back in stock for pre-Christmas delivery

The iPhone 5 is back in stock, with Apple sorting supply issues just ahead of the Christmas rush - and before Google has been able to get pre-Christmas stock of its rival Nexus 4 smartphone.

The popularity of the iPhone 5, the latest in the company's iOS-based smartphone line, had led to a few problems keeping the unit in stock: previously, customers hoping to pick one up in time for Christmas were warned that deliveries could take two to four weeks, while a restriction was put in place preventing buyers from ordering more than two iPhone 5 units in a single transaction - designed to prevent people purchasing the device to re-list on auction sites in the hope of making a quick buck.

Now, however, Apple is more confident about getting iPhones 5s out of the door before Santa sets off on his annual journey. The company's international ordering pages, including the UK, now list a 2-4 business day lead time for delivery - meaning orders placed today will certainly arrive in time to be wrapped and placed under the tree. The restriction on the number of handsets purchased has also been removed, suggesting that the company is certain it has the production capacity in place to meet Christmas demand.

The news will come as a blow to Google, which placed its rival Nexus 4 Android-based smartphone back on sale last night - but with a 4-5 week deadline. As a result, those hoping to buy their loved ones a top-end smartphone for Christmas will be left looking at rival devices - including Apple's iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5 is available to buy SIM-free and unlocked now from the official Apple store.

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