Good Luck Getting An iPhone 5s Today, Particularly If You Want Gold

iPhone-5s-box-gray

Apple never seems to be able to make enough iPhones to meet launch day demand, but it seems the Cupertino company has found that task particularly difficult this year. The iPhone 5s has proven incredibly difficult to get hold of all over the globe, while that fancy new gold model is near impossible to get hold of.

At Apple’s flagship store in San Francisco, there were just 20 gold iPhone 5s units waiting to go on sale this morning, and they were all claimed before the store even opened its doors.

It’s unclear at this point what has caused such tight supplies, but it certainly seems Apple’s latest flagship smartphone is harder to get hold of than in previous years.

Could it be that there were problems in manufacturing? Could it be down limited supplies of the Touch ID fingerprint sensor? Could it be because Apple chose to sell the new iPhone in China on launch day, where gold products are very popular? Or could it be a mixture of all those things?

Well, no one really knows at this point — but everyone who’s out there trying to pick up an iPhone 5s this morning is certainly feeling it. Cult of Mac’s own Traci Dauphin is at the flagship Apple store in San Francisco, where the line is two blocks long. Yet the store has been given just 20 gold iPhones to sell this morning.

IMG_6398

By the time Apple got to the 55th person in the line, all 20 units were claimed, so the other few hundred people waiting would have had to settle for silver, or space gray. They could choose neither, of course, and wait until the gold models are back in stock, but who knows how long that will take.

According to Sonny Dickson, the guy behind most of those leaked iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c parts we’ve seen over the past few months, Apple informed fans in Australia that there were no gold models on sale in the country at all, and that it will be three weeks before they are available.

It’s likely Apple stores will be waiting weeks, if not months, before they begin receiving decent supplies of the iPhone 5s, which means the device will be difficult to get hold of for some time. If you hurry, you can order one from Apple’s online store and have it shipped in 7-10 business days — unless of course you want the gold one, which won’t leave the factory until October.

It’s a similar story here in the U.K., where one major carrier, O2 — which has been an iPhone partner since the original in 2007 — informed customers it wouldn’t have any iPhone 5s units in stores today and that all would have to be ordered for delivery at a later date.

Only a few are lucky enough to get a golden ticket.

Only a few are lucky enough to get a golden ticket.

Meanwhile, big retailers like Carphone Warehouse had very limited supplies, and most of the locations we spoke to on Thursday said they had only received space grey models.

At the famous glass Apple store on Fifth Avenue in New York City, sources say the iPhone lines there are the longest they’ve ever had. And as you might expect, gold is most popular there, too. “I want the gold one and everyone wants the gold one,” Anna Prymak, who has been told the gold model will sell out first, told ABC News.

Cult of Mac’s Buster Heine is at the Apple store in Biltmore, Phoenix — the most popular Apple store in Arizona — where there are just 5 gold iPhones waiting to go on sale this morning, and only a handful of silver units. Most are being forced to buy the space gray model instead.

Both gold and silver units were also sold at the only Apple store in Memphis, Tennessee, when the doors opened, our own Eli Milchman reports.

It’s no wonder Apple chose not to offer pre-orders for the iPhone 5s this time around. If it had have done, the situation would have been even worse. I think it’s safe to say if you don’t get an iPhone 5s today, you might as well forget about it for at least a couple of weeks.

Related
  • Adrayven

    Mine is slated for delivery on or before Oct 1st.. so I’m happy. Space Grey.. liked it most.

  • Stuka_UK

    This is becoming my pet hate about Apple. The panic to buy on day 1, because it’s impossible to get one for the next couple of months afterwards, is grossly unfair…….. They build up anticipation, and then the vast majority of people get disappointed and have to wait too long.

    It will never change I know, but if they want to be loved my more people then they need to stock up for day 1 (or week 1) by having 10x (ten times!) as many phones available… and even that may not be enough.

    If I could buy a Gold 64gb today I actually would seriously consider parting with £709…. which is serious money….. but they’re NOT available, and so I will just go and think more carefully about it…. I might even decide that it’s too much to spend to change from my current 5 and not bother at all…. In other words Apple, you’ve probably lost a whole bunch of sales by being too exclusive.

  • Gregory Wright

    but if they want to be loved my more people then they need to stock up for day 1 (or week 1) by having 10x (ten times!) as many phones available… and even that may not be enough.

    There’s a couple of ways of looking at it. Apple could wait before the release to ensure enough stock is available for everyone, a number to difficult to predict. If Apple took that approach people would complain because the new product hasn’t been released yet.

    Or, Apple could release the product with the caveat that there will not be enough for everyone on release day. This approach requires that “adults” be understanding and willing to wait until the phone they want becomes available and not be upset like “children” disappointed by Santa Claus.

    So, from Apple’s prospective they are damn if they do and damn if they don’t.

  • Stuka_UK

    Or, Apple could release the product with the caveat that there will not be enough for everyone on release day. This approach requires that “adults” be understanding and willing to wait until the phone they want becomes available and not be upset like “children” disappointed by Santa Claus.

    LOL… You really aced Charm School didn’t you?

  • CoyoteDen

    Gold… Yeccch. Personal feelings aside, the Apple store I went to got 4 gold phones. Gone instantly. The 16 GB phones were sold before they opened the doors. All AT&T phones were gone by 8:30. So, I just walked around the mall to the AT&T store which also opened at 8 AM, had maybe 30 people in line, and plenty of phones.

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in News, Top stories | Tagged: , , , , , |