Supplies of iPhone 5 is ‘extremely limited’ amid unprecedented demand

By , Oct 5, 2012

Remember the cliffhanger scene in movies: a damsel in distress is tied to railroad tracks ahead of an oncoming train. Will the hero arrive in time to rescue her? That’s a bit like the situation we have with the iPhone 5.

Analysts are trimming their sales forecast of Apple’s new handset due to ‘extremely limited’ supplies and the all-important holiday buying period is bearing down. Can suppliers rescue Apple? Can Apple meet unprecedented demand in time to take advantage of everyone wanting an iPhone 5 in their stocking?

Thursday, high-profile Apple analyst Gene Munster shaved 2 million iPhone 5 from his September sales forecast, estimating Apple will sell 25 million iPhones instead of 27.2 million. The Piper Jaffray analyst pointed to a supply of iPhone 5 that is “extremely limited.” However, Munster figures investors will be rewarded in the December quarter, sticking with his estimate of 49 million iPhones sold.

It is ironic how supplies may be at the heart of this iPhone 5 sales glitch given Apple’s almost obsessively-tight management of its supply chain. However, the Cupertino, Calif. company threw suppliers a curve by introducing a new technology requirement: in-cell displays that melds touch sensors with the screen. But one analyst points to a vast number of mobile subscribers set free from their contracts and migrating en mass to the iPhone.

Some 170 million post paid subscribers have reached the end of their contract, Jeffries analyst Peter Misek told AllThingsD.

“That’s overwhelming all supply ramps. The demand here is unprecedented,” he said. But if Apple can get control of its supply problem and get an iPhone 5 into the hands of everyone who wants one, the December quarter could be the mother of all blow-outs.

What do you think? Can Apple overcome the limited supplies? What lesson was learned from the iPhone 5 supply horror stories?

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  • CollegiateLad

    In my city, all stores that sell iPhones are currently sold out. That’s best buy, all AT&T stores, all Verizon stores, Walmart, radio shack, all sprint stores, and Sams club – the AT&T guy said the demand is like nothing he has ever seen. I called the north park and know street apple stores and they are out too.

    • ic0dex

      I spoke to an Apple employe and he told me that they get small shipments M-F you just have to be there in the morning.

  • Sn0wsh0e

    they should have delayed the announcement of the iPhone while producing millions of these phones so there would be no shortages on launch day.

    • http://youtube.com/MathiasVerden Mathias Lindberg

      But what if it flunked? It’d be the Lisa all over again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    same story every time a new iPhone comes out … its the number 1 phone on earth so of course there will be shortages especially since are coming up on
    christmas.. You guys can have mine cause I’m not buying until its jailbroken

    • CollegiateLad

      I wish you had one… I’d take it off your hands.

  • http://twitter.com/ChrisRigby80 Christopher Rigby

    I’m on my second one after I sent the first one back as specs of paint were missing around the rim of the bezel in many places. The second one has one spec of paint missing but I can’t be bothered sending the second one back. Apple need start thinking of quality not quantity

  • http://granniethegeek.tumblr.com/ GrannieTheGeek

    You ain’t seen nothing yet!! Wait until the iPad mini is released!

  • http://youtube.com/MathiasVerden Mathias Lindberg

    These people obviously haven’t seen the front of the phone..

  • http://twitter.com/jmarsh5 Justin Marshall

    I will be very upset if my phone isn’t here when they promised.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=604885391 Richard Borkovec

    Cause the Foxconn riots have nothing to do with this at all…

  • http://www.facebook.com/neil.faultless Neil Faultless

    I’m still waiting for mine even though it was pre-ordered for the 21st September. I have been told it should be here on Wednesday 10th October.

    • Al

      Not sure where you located. But I didn’t preorder mine, waited until 11 or so in the morning that Friday. Didn’t want to deal with the crowd. Went to Best Buy and AT&T first, both were sold out. Decided to go to Apple Store, had plenty available. I asked the Apple personnel twice “are you sure?” Literally, took me by surprise. People kept coming, but the line was perfect. I was in and out rather quickly with a Slate iPhone 5 in my hands.

      I’ve never preorder an iPhone, always been fortunate enough to walk into the store and buy one..

  • Colin Percy

    I’ve put mine back in its box after getting a new replacement one yesterday because the first one had unbelievably slow WiFi speed. The second one I have now is just as bad. All this amongst the other ios problems.
    This phone is a disaster. What a complete waste of money.
    Its absolute rubbish.

    • GNexusPhone5

      shutup liar fandroid.

      • Colin Percy

        Thank you for such an intelligent response. I bet your parents are really proud of you.

      • http://www.facebook.com/reginald.vasseur Reginald Vasseur

        Ok how about this one then. Please stop tying to mislead the public with you untruths and inaccurate comments about a phone which you do not own. Is it not enough that you own your android phone, however inadequate it is; that you find the need to bash the competitor that popularized the current android format making it possible for you to buy and own in the first place? Don’t try to come back with a clever quip only to spout off more android dribble to a less than interested forum. – and yes, my parents are proud. :)

  • twited21

    Is this high demand in the us only
    Here in the uk all the networks have plenty of stock
    I got stopped just yesterday by some one from orange offing me the iPhone 5
    He said we got plenty of stock in both white and black and in all memory sizes
    I don’t know any one yet ho has bought one
    And we’re all iPhone geeks
    I for one am not rushing out to get one I love my ip4 to much to swap

    • http://twitter.com/RaycoReinhard Rayco Reinhard

      here in spain you cant find the iphone anywhere either…

  • http://twitter.com/spanishcop Michael

    I’ve also got the wifi problems with my iphone 5 and my ipad 3 which was perfectly fine before the IOS6 update now has issues with wifi also. So I don’t feel its the phone. The phone is fantastic in my opinion and upgrading from the iphone 4, it’s such an increase in speed, that I couldn’t go back to the iphone 4 now. I do miss my jailbreak, which I will wait patiently for. I’m very satisfied with my iphone 5. I think the jailbreak will be after the IOS6 patch comes out to fix some of the existing issues people are having. So it’s going to be a while.

    • Colin Percy

      The speed of the iPhone5 is great Micheal.
      I need to use WiFi a lot so I’ll be going back to using my iPhone4 until Apple can fix the issues it’s having.
      I just can’t get my head around why Apple would risk their reputation releasing this software ‘upgrade’ without making certain it was perfect.

    • http://www.facebook.com/antman217 Anthony Antunez

      I haven’t noticed any Wi-Fi issues with my iPhone 5 but my iPad 3 does take a little longer to connect to weak Wi-FI spots that it used to easily connect to on iOS 5. It even disconnects itself sometimes. When I’m on a strong Wi-Fi connection though I have no issues with either. But I can definitely tell there is something up with iOS 6 and weaker Wi-Fi connections.

  • Tim Bernard

    I had an iphone 4 for two years, sold it to get an S3, signal quality was poor compared to my iphone 4, so returned it…decided on an iphone 5, but none in stock….I am using a crappy att go phone til a 5 comes in, and am going nuts! Apple better hurry up because my patience is running thin. New Sony or LG might be my choice if the iphones do not hurry!
    I did upgrade to ios6 before selling my iphone 4, and the maps just made me sick…this from Apple, I could not believe it??? That was one of the main things that made me jump flagship (haha)
    Now though, I gotta have good cell reception at my house and the 4 did do that much better than the S3….What a pickle…Please hurry Apple!!!! Or you lost a customer (again).