As we all know, the iPhone 5s was released globally today to much fanfare. However, the official release was somewhat tainted by a seemingly catastrophic shortage of devices available at retail stores for physical purchase.
Yesterday, O2 confirmed that it would not have any iPhone 5s devices available in any of its UK stores. Similarly no US retailers or carriers had received any white or gold iPhones, with only the Space Grey 5s in stock. The shortage continued to bite today, with the gold iPhone 5s slipping to October shipping within half an hour of going on sale. According to reports from Cnet, even the first handful of people in line at Apple’s flagship retail store in Fifth Avenue, NYC, could not get their hands on the 64GB version of the gold iPhone 5s. News outlet iLounge visited one store that had just one gold 5s in stock this morning.
We’re used to initial demand exhausting Apple’s new device supplies on the opening day of business, but the shortage of the iPhone 5s is unprecedented. In response, Apple has asked its suppliers to increase their production of the gold iPhone 5s by one-third. The report from the Wall Street Journal cites people “familiar with the situation”, also adding that it was unclear whether or not manufacturers were experiencing any constraints or problems. Apple has declined to comment on the development.
With gold iPhone 5s supplies so low on the opening day of business, its reassuring to see that Apple has taken steps to rectify the problem. However, it looks like Apple has made a pretty serious error of judgement with this release. Whether it was expected that the gold iPhone would draw fewer customers, or whether Apple deliberately constrained supplies to keep the gold-colored variant more exclusive, I’m sure that a lot of customers have been left disappointed when trying to buy a gold iPhone today.
Have any of you tried and failed to buy the gold iPhone 5s? Or did you go with a different model?