Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) certainly is in need of some good news this holiday season, and aside from the rumored China Mobile (CHL) deal, there’s one other thing it has going for it. All signs suggest that finally Apple is catching up supply of the iPhone 5S with demand. In other words, more people who want to find an iPhone 5S under the Christmas tree just might do that.

Munster updates Apple survey

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has been conducting biweekly surveys of availability for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone 5S. He reports that after polling 60 Apple stores in the U.S., now 90% of iPhone 5S models are in stock. That’s a major improvement from 31% a couple of weeks ago and 10% toward the beginning of last month. However, it is still very slightly short of where the iPhone 5 was last year at this time. At that time, the iPhone 5 was 95% of the iPhones in stock. Currently at the online Apple store, the iPhone 5S is listed as having a ship date of three to five business days. Earlier this month, that time was as long as two or three weeks for many models. Munster believes Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will finish catching supply up with demand early next month, a timing that would be similar to what the company did last year with the iPhone 5.

Breaking down iPhone 5S availability by carrier

Munster also looked more closely to see which carriers had more iPhone 5S models available for purchase. He reported that 99% of iPhone 5S SKUs for the AT&T (T) network are in stock at Apple stores. He also found that 98% of the Verizon (VZ) models are also available. Together, the two carriers make up about 75% of the mobile market in the U.S., so most Americans will easily be able to find an iPhone 5S on their network if they want one. The analyst did not include supply for unlocked iPhone 5S models, which includes those which are compatible with the T-Mobile network. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) recently started selling SIM-free unlocked iPhone 5S models on its website. He did, however, include Sprint (S) in his poll and found that 72% of the Sprint iPhone 5S models were available. Via Apple Insider

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