Apple's latest creation the iPhone 5s goes on sale across America on Friday, but supplies are likely so low that some Apple fans could be kept waiting 10 days for the cutting edge phone, reports indicate.
When Apple unveiled the iPhone 5s on Sept. 10, the company noted that unlike previous smartphone releases, this latest phone would not be available for online presales ahead of the launch in retail stores. The iPhone 5s will be available to customers at 3:01 a.m. EST at the Apple Online Store. The iPhone 5c, a budget-friendly updated version of the existing iPhone 5, is available online for presale now. Apple Stores across America will open at 8 a.m. in their respective time zones. Hopefully there will be enough to go around for people waiting in line. Sources at several U.S. phone carriers told AllThingsD that Apple supplied a much lower inventory of the new phones than the carriers expected. "We will have grotesquely unavailable inventory," one carrier told AllThingsD.
Sources at large Apple Stores in different U.S. cities told 9to5Mac that 70 to 80 percent of new iPhones stocked for the launch on Friday are the iPhone 5c.
Apple could not be reached for comment.
Customers will also likely be kept waiting for online orders. Apple is already quoting 7-10 day shipping estimates for the 5s, according to 9to5Mac.
Time will tell how users respond to the latest iPhone engineering, but it seems Apple is still able to build some serious customer anticipation with CEO Tim Cook at the helm. Apple might not have allowed preorders for the iPhone 5s because the company cannot produce enough of those devices to meet demand for the product launch, BGR reports.
Apple is expected to sell 5 to 6 million units of its two new iPhones this weekend, according an investor report by Gene Munster, an Apple analyst at Piper Jaffray investment bank.
"Given last year's in-store sales numbers, we are comfortable that Apple could sell 2.5 million iPhone 5s units this launch weekend," Munster said in a report cited by AppleInsider "Our estimate for the 5c is 3 million units sold during the launch weekend including 1 million online pre-orders and 2 million in stores."
The iPhone 5s seems to be in short supply globally. In the U.K., phone carrier O2 has announced that they will have no 5s' in stock for now, and the Apple Store in Hong Kong said that the 5s has already lapsed into October for shipping according to 9to5Mac.
Apple's iPhone 5s has a faster processor than the iPhone 5, which was released in September 2012. The iPhone 5s includes new features including an improved camera and a fingerprint scanner to lock and unlock the phone without a password. The iPhone 5s is available for $199 with a wireless contract, and the iPhone 5c is available for $99 also with a wireless contract.