iPhone 5S Gold In High Demand – Or Just Short Supply?

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The web is buzzing this morning with news of iPhone 5S and 5C sales. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) posted them for sale overnight on its online store, and the gold iPhone 5S was the very first model to slip from a one to three business day shipping estimate to October. The other iPhone 5S models initially slipped to an October shipping date not long after (although that had changed back to between seven and 10 business days when I checked again later). However, the iPhone 5C is still available on Apple’s online store with a one to three day shipping estimate.

iPhone 5S Gold In High Demand - Or Just Short Supply?

Is the gold iPhone 5S that popular?

When the rumors that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was releasing a gold iPhone 5S first surfaced, many people were appalled at the idea, particularly because early artist renderings of it looked more like a flashy gold brick than a phone. It didn’t take long for the rumors to correct themselves as several major sites confirmed that the “gold” iPhone 5S was really more of a champagne color, as it indeed is.

The fact that the gold version was the first one to move first to a seven to ten day shipping estimate (according to CNET) and then an October shipping estimate could mean one of two things. Either supply of the gold version was the lowest out of all three, or it is just that much more popular than the other iPhone 5S models.

iPhone 5S supply not great to begin with

Not long before launch, sites were reporting that various carriers had said they did not receive many iPhone 5S handsets for launch day. Even today, there was a report that O2 stores in the U.K. didn’t have any iPhone 5S models available at their physical locations. The handsets were apparently only available online. Other carriers in the U.K. also expressed concerns about a shortage of iPhone 5S handsets this morning.

As of 9:50 a.m. Eastern, the 16 GB gold iPhone 5S was listed by O2’s site as being out of stock. The other two models were listed with delivery times of three to six weeks. All three “space grey” versions of the iPhone 5S are listed at the carrier’s site as simply being “in stock,” suggesting that these models are not as popular as the others.

At Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s online store, the story is similar, although it’s only the gold models that are listed for October delivery. Note: earlier when I checked the site, all iPhone 5S models were listed for an October delivery. As of now, it’s just the gold models.

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