LOS ANGELES — Consumers turned out in droves over the weekend to buy Apple's most expensive iPhone ever, the iPhone X, and by Sunday it was as good as sold out. 

Apple's website reported that the new phone, which starts at $999, was unavailable for pickup in the top cities: New York, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Dallas, Minneapolis, San Antonio, Houston, Austin, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Washington, DC, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina. 

A handful of units were available for pickup Sunday morning in Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Scottsdale, Tucson, El Paso, Santa Monica and Northridge, California, but by the afternoon, they were gone too. 

Delivery times for online orders is 3-4 weeks, according to Apple. An Apple representative didn't respond to a request for comment. 

The iPhone X went on sale Friday at 8 a.m., and started selling out by Saturday afternoon. Long lines returned to the Apple Stores from eager consumers hoping to buy one, something Apple didn't see with the release of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in September.

"Lines were stronger than we have seen in years across Apple stores and rivaled iPhone 6 first day build up," said Daniel Ives, an analyst with GBH Tech Research. The last of the great fan lines at Apple Stores was for 2014's iPhone 6. 

Many consumers on the line were buying two each, either to re-sell or to give as gifts. Ads for iPhone X units at inflated resale prices from $1,500 to $5,000 began appearing on secondary markets like eBay and Craigslist over the weekend. 

More: iPhone X buyers plan quick resale for a tidy profit

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Gene Munster, an investor and analyst with Loup Ventures, said these were the longest lines since 2014's iPhone 6 release. The iPhone 6 was the last time Apple introduced a re-designed and re-imagined phone, as it did with the iPhone X.

"The iPhone X line counts exceeded lines for the previous 3 iPhone releases, including lines 57% longer than the iPhone 7 lines," Munster wrote in a blog post.

The iPhone featured an edge-to-edge OLED screen, promising richer and stronger colors, the ability to unlock the phone with facial recognition and produce animated emojis based on your facial expressions. 

New iPhones from Apple have traditionally sold out by late Sunday on opening weekend, with the exception of the 8 and 7, and Apple has encouraged its customer base to use the pre-order process instead of putting in hours on a line. 

The iPhone X initially was available as a pre-order on October 27th, but the initial shipment for November 3 delivery sold out within minutes, and many customers were promised deliveries of anywhere from 3 to 5 weeks. However, Talking Tech's order was cited as November 10th to 17th, but then arrived early, on Friday.

The iPhone X was expected to go quickly, due to supply constraints for Apple. The company is using several new parts that haven't been used before in mass production, causing the hiccup. 

 

Follow USA TODAY's Jefferson Graham on Twitter, @jeffersongraham