iPhone 5 Supplies Improving Just in Time for Holidays
Availability of the iPhone 5 has improved significantly since the device first launched in September. And as we head into the holidays, reports are emerging that Apple’s newest smartphone is close to hitting supply-demand equilibrium.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster and his team have been surveying iPhone 5 availability nightly at 100 Apple stores in the U.S., and lately have found stock levels to be dramatically improved.
“Over the past 10 days, AT&T and Verizon have shown dramatic improvements in availability, while Sprint has maintained consistent availability,” Munster said in a research note to clients today. “Last night, our checks indicated that Sprint phones were in stock at 92 percent of Apple Stores, AT&T was available at 82 percent of stores and Verizon at 72 percent of stores.”
This improvement in brick-and-mortar store availability has been accompanied by a shortening of iPhone 5 shipping times from Apple’s online store. Wait times for the device, which had been two to three weeks, today dropped to two weeks. A slight improvement, sure, but another important indication that Apple is nearing the point where it can keep up with iPhone 5 demand.
Said Munster, who expects Apple to sell 45 million iPhones in the December quarter, “As we get closer to the holiday, we believe consumers will likely have the ability to walk into an Apple Store and walk out with an iPhone 5 within the next two weeks.”