Tuesday, September 17, 2013

iPhone 5S supplies to be extremely constrained at launch

This iPhone launch is going to be a doozy. By that, we don't mean that it will be a game-changing iPhone; it won't, as many have been underwhelmed by the new hardware. Instead, we mean that since there have been no pre-orders for the iPhone 5S, it means the lines might be humongous. Not only that, sources are saying (via 9to5Mac) that supplies of Apple's flagship device will be "constrained."

That's a nice way of saying that the device will be in short supply. It's already been guessed that the reason that the iPhone 5S hasn't been put on pre-order is because Apple simply doesn't have enough to meet the demand of pre-orders and Day One sales. Sources confirmed that, and went so far as to say that 70 to 80 percent of the new iPhones stocked for the retail launch on Friday, Sept. 20th are the the colorful, cheaper, "last year's tech-carrying" iPhone 5C.

Those looking for the new champagne gold color might be out of luck, too. The sources added that Apple is expecting the Space Gray model to be most popular, and is stocking as such. 75 percent of the iPhone 5s unit which will be stocked in Apple Stores for Friday's launch will be Space Gray. The silver and gold models will both be in short supply at launch.

Apple gets most of the retail device supply, so carrier stores will be similarly constrained. In addition, sources say that AT&T versions will be in greater supply than Verizon models at launch; as the nation's no. 3 and no. 4 carriers, we already expected that Sprint and T-Mobile would have limited supplies on hand.

Also, the 16GB and 32GB models will probably be easier to find than the higher-tiered 64GB models. This is as expected, really, as most don't opt for the biggest storage tiers.

Recognizing these problems, Apple is also said to be preparing an update to its Apple Store app which will allow customers to determine if their local store has supply of the new iPhone models (Apple has, in the past, put such information on the Web).

The new version of the app will arrive by next week, but it could be pushed back or even cancelled at the last minute.

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