This is the type of news everyone expected but nobody wanted to hear: supply for Apple’s iPhone 5s will in all likelihood be severely constrained once the device launches on Friday. We already knew supply would be limited overseas, and it appears our fears are being made into reality here in the U.S., too. Basically, good luck getting your hands on Apple’s new Touch ID-equipped iPhone 5s before the holidays.
According to sources at some of Apple’s biggest retail stores, up to 80 percent of stock coming in for Friday’s big launch consists of iPhone 5c models—the remaining 20 percent highlights how few of Apple’s newest flagship will be available. In particular, Gold and Silver models will be hard to come by, as will devices with higher capacities of internal storage. “About an average of three out of every four units will be a Space Gray model,” 9to5Mac said.
In addition, AT&T models are expected to be more prevalent, while devices compatible with Verizon Wireless will be in shorter supply. Despite offering pre-orders for the iPhone 5c this year, Apple chose not to do the same for its iPhone 5s. Whether that’s to generate more hype or because of supply fears remains to be seen. From what we know, it sure seems like the latter.
Meanwhile, in order to reduce consumer unrest following these alleged constraints, Apple will reportedly unveil an Apple Store app update that will allow folks to check on stock. 9to5Mac is unsure whether or not the update will be pushed out next week or not, so don’t count on it for now—third-party tools checking on Apple store inventory typically come out around big releases anyway.
If you are planning to get an iPhone 5s on launch day, you best get to the nearest store as early as possible, otherwise you could be made to wait for a long, long time. One of 9to5Mac’s writers even suggests supply might not be readily available until after the holidays.