Earlier today it was revealed that Hong Kong and China had pretty much sold out of all its iPhone 5s pre-order inventory within a few minutes. Having heard the news, it didn’t take much imagination to realize it was more than likely due to lower than expected inventory levels.
Now it appears we have some confirmation on the matter. Carrier sources told both AllThingsD and BGR that iPhone 5s stock levels are particularly low. One of the sources stated that their carrier would “have grotesquely unavailable inventory“. It turns out that all the carrier sources with any information are stating that levels are very constrained ahead of Friday’s launch. On that note, one did state that although that’s the case, more people seem interested in the colors of the iPhone 5c, and stock of that model is not a concern. 9to5Mac reports that up to 80% of all iPhone models arriving ahead of launch on Friday are the 5c model.
9to5Mac also weighed in with information from its own sources, also claiming that the 5s would be available in “limited quantity”. And that you’ll be hard pushed to get one if you’re after the silver or gold colors. Allegedly three out of every four 5s units landing in stores will be Space Grey.
“We’re also told to expect supply of AT&T models (in the United States) to be stronger than Verizon Wireless models in the higher-capacity configurations for the 5s. In terms of capacities, in general, we’re hearing that 16GB and 32GB configurations could be easier to find than the higher-end 64GB models”
Rumors are that Apple could be preparing an update to its Apple Store app which will allow users to check stock levels at their local stores. But that’s not guaranteed.
In short, if you want an iPhone 5s on Friday, you better be prepared to line up early for it. Or you’re not guaranteed to get one.