New iPhones could be in short supply this weekend

Posted at 7:41 PM, Sep 19, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-19 21:41:24-04
By Heather Kelly


(CNN) — With the latest iPhone handsets going on sale in 11 countries and territories Friday, there will be the usual lines of diehard fans snaking around popular Apple stores.

Some are just eager to be first. Others will be worried about the stores running out of phones before they can get one — and they may be right.

Apple could be facing tight supplies of the new iPhone 5S. According to 9to5Mac and AllThingsD, sources from U.S. carriers are reporting that their stock will be limited when the device launches on Friday.

The hardest-to-get colors will be gold and silver, potentially leaving the third option — “space gray” — on shelves. According to All Things D, AT&T will reserve the gold and silver models for its online sales. The iPhone 5S does not come in black or white.

Unlike the 5S, the cheaper iPhone 5C was available for presale online, and so far Apple, wireless carriers and other vendors still have the devices in stock in the U.S. Apple has not released any numbers on pre-orders.

The phones will go on sale Friday in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

In China, the iPhone 5S has been available for preorder since Tuesday. Chinese news outlets reported that retailers have already sold all of the gold iPhone 5S models they had in stock. Gold is a wildly popular color in China and India, countries where Apple is hoping to capture a larger slice of the smartphone market.

Until the doors and online stores open early Friday morning, it’s difficult to gauge consumer demand for the phones in the United States. Many customers could be drawn to the cheaper, brighter models over the higher-end 5S with its upgraded camera, processor and fingerprint sensor.

Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray, predicts that Apple will sell between and 6 million iPhones around the world during the three-day launch weekend and that it will sell out of iPhone 5S devices completely. He said that Apple will likely move 3 million iPhone 5C models over the weekend.

Some suspect the anticipated sellout is a reason Apple did not make the iPhone 5S available for presale online.

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