updated 06:02 pm EST, Tue December 10, 2013
Supply now caught up with demand in stores, online
Just in time for the holiday rush, Apple's online store has moved the popular iPhone 5s -- even in the coveted gold color option -- to a shipping estimate of 24 hours, the best time the sought-after premiere model has ever seen. Since its debut in September, the iPhone 5s has seen constraints on availability, causing a worldwide frenzy for the advanced smartphone in the first days of its debut. Retail partners, online resellers and Apple itself appear to have overcome supply issues for all configurations.
A recent report showed that the iPhone 5s was at or close to 100 percent availability in a combined survey of 180 Apple Stores, the result of Apple shifting some production of the iPhone 5c over to help with demand. The iPhone 5c, according to recent reports, has also done well in its "midrange" price position -- outselling last year's iPhone 5 at the same point in its product cycle, though the iPhone 5s has seen approximately three times more demand.
The iPhone 5s, while retaining the same basic outer design as the iPhone 5 and 5c, offers significantly advanced capabilities, speed, 64-bit processing (a first for a commercial smartphone), a fingerprint Touch ID sensor and advanced camera technologies among other improvements. The entire smartphone industry is scrambling to bring the technologies to rival phones, though none are expected to debut in the premium space until well into 2014, leaving Apple alone at the high-end for the time being.
Apple had recently lowered the estimated ship times for the iPhone 5s to 1-3 days late last week. The UK, Canadian and major European stores all show shipping within 24 hours, while other markets (such as Japan) still show 1-3 day dispatch times. Factory-unlocked iPhone 5s models with no SIM card are also available in the US, but show a 3-5 day wait time. Customers wishing to order an iPhone 5s for arrival before Christmas have until Thursday, December 12 to order, or can visit a reseller or carrier store in their area.