iPhone 5s Supplies Approaching Demand with 90% Availability in Apple's U.S. Retail Stores
Supplies of the iPhone 5s have been steadily improving since the device's launch two months ago, and according to a new survey by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, supplies are now approaching demand levels at Apple's U.S. retail stores with 90% of model/location combinations currently showing as available. Munster's survey is a weekly tracker of 60 U.S. stores and has seen significant improvement in iPhone 5s availability from just 31% two weeks ago and a paltry 10% back in early October.
Total available iPhone 5s SKUs (excluding unlocked) have increased to 90% from 31% two weeks ago, and 10% at the beginning of October. Separately, we note that the lightest stocked store we checked had 67% of available SKUs. We view the improvement in supply as an encouraging sign that Apple has begun to catch up to demand. We continue to believe that Apple will reach supply-demand equilibrium by early December.
While overall iPhone 5s availability of 90% slightly lags that of the iPhone 5 at 95% at this time last year, Munster notes that supplies of the iPhone 5s actually better reflect the current popularity mix of the various carriers, with AT&T and Verizon models seeing almost universal availability and only the less popular Sprint models lagging.
Munster's tracker currently omits the just-launched unlocked SIM-free models, as those devices are still showing 1-2 week shipping time and in-store availability is not shared through Apple's online store for those models. Munster appears to have been considering the unsubsidized T-Mobile models as representative of the broader category of unlocked for tracking purposes, as users have found that many of the carrier-specific iPhone 5s models are in fact already unlocked.