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Scarcity of Apple iPhone 5 at Apple Stores

Demand for Apple products increase with each iteration. When Apple launched the successor of iPhone 4, the iPhone 4S, it received an overwhelming response. Apple’s opening weekend sales for the 4S last year had grown by an astounding 135% over iPhone 4 which in turn had seen 70% higher sales than the 3GS. The difference between iPhone 4 and 4S was just an incremental hardware update, but iPhone 4 is a major update.

The Apple iPhone 5 comes with a larger 4 inch screen, LTE connectivity, faster processor and new digital dock connector, so certainly the demand for this device will be more than previous models, and that has clearly reflected in the number of units sold. Apple managed to sell over 5 million units of iPhone 5, though analysts had expected the numbers to be close to 8 million units. Analysts were clearly disappointed, though Apple has broken its own record which it had set with iPhone 4S. It should be noted that Apple has also increased the number of launch countries from 7 to 9 this year, so technically the company has sold lesser number of iPhones per country in the opening weekend this year than during the iPhone 4S’ launch. As the demand continues, there is a shortage of these devices at several locations.

US carriers have reportedly not received the second shipment of iPhone 5 which they were expecting, and as a result there’s a huge back order and they anticipate the devices to be delivered in 3 to 4 weeks of time. You may be able to buy an Apple iPhone 5 from an Apple Store in your locality, however, the device will most probably be Sprint branded. The reason for this is because Sprint is apparently the least desirable option when people go to shop for an iPhone. It should be noted that Sprint is the only major U.S. carrier that has an unlimited data plan for Apple iPhone 5 users, but it looks like people rather choose quality over quantity, so network speed is main factor rather than quantity of data transfer allowed, thus making Sprint undesirable. Sprint currently has only 24 cities covered under LTE, which is 10 times faster than normal 3G network. On the other hand, other major carriers including AT&T and Verizon have hundreds of cities covered under LTE network, thus making them more desirable.

It’s true that Verizon and Sprint models of iPhone 5 are basically the same and have identical hardware and are also the same ones which are sold outside U.S., but these devices will not work on each other’s networks. Apple’s online store is still quoting a 3-4 week delivery timeframe for iPhone 5 orders if placed today. Some customers have apparently got a loaner Apple iPhone 4S while they wait for the iPhone 5. What are your thoughts on this? Would you still order an iPhone after all the controversies regarding maps and other important features? Let us know using the comment form below.