iPhone 5s reportedly in 'short supply' for Friday's launch

Summary:Multiple reports claim the new premium Apple smartphone is in short supply, meaning many customers may have to wait longer before they get their hands on the iPhone 5s.

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Image: CNET

If you were looking forward to getting your hands on Apple's latest premium smartphone on Friday when it launches in stores, you may be set for disappointment.

According to AllThingsD's Ina Fried, who spoke to unnamed carrier sources, the premium iPhone 5s may be in short supply. One source called its inventory "grotesquely" low and another described the number of shipments from the technology giant as "disappointing."

It comes just hours after an earlier BGR report, citing similar claims, which suggested the supply of iPhone 5s devices on store shelves would be limited. The report said Apple may be struggling to produce enough devices to meet initial demand, which may be higher than first expected.

Citing the publication's sources familiar with the matter, "there will not be any issue with purchasing [an iPhone 5c] on launch day."

Adding further weight to these claims, 9to5Mac's Mark Gurman also suggested there would be a limited stock of the premium smartphone at Apple retail stores around the United States. Breaking this down, the space gray model is expected to be the most popular, with gold and silver models being "hard to come by" at launch, he said.

One of the earlier concerns cited by analysts by pushing out two new smartphones is that the cheaper iPhone 5c may cannibalize its premium counterpart. Apple received two million pre-orders within the first 24 hours of the iPhone 5's launch last year, but the addition of a new lower-cost iPhone 5c device to the line-up may see customers with lower budgets opt for the cheaper device.

However, the cause behind the short supply issues could be many-fold, including up-stream supply chain constraints, such as difficulty building or manufacturing parts essential for the iPhone 5s.

Earlier on Tuesday, Apple sent a reminder that its latest iPhones were to go on sale this Friday on AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile for varying costs and contracts. 

Apple declined to comment to AllThingsD.

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Topics: Apple, iPhone

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Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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