updated 11:35 am EST, Wed November 21, 2012
Apple catches up in time for critical holiday sales
iPhone 5 stocks have seen "dramatic improvements in availability," according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. Last night, a team at Piper conducted checks with 100 US Apple Stores, and found that AT&T models were available at 82 percent of them, while Verizon models were ready at 72 percent. Sprint iPhone 5s were in stock 92 percent of the time.
The inventory improvements appear to have started around November 6 with a massive surge in AT&T models, eclipsing even the amount of Sprint units on November 9 before settling below that threshold. Sprint iPhones are rarely unavailable, since Sprint is relatively new to carrying the iPhone -- fighting an uphill battle for subscribers -- and still catching up to AT&T and Verizon in terms of network speeds.
The timing of the resupply coincides with Apple's push into Black Friday and the most critical part of the holiday shopping season. Online shipping times have improved as well, though new American and Canadian orders are still only due in two weeks.