Early this morning, Apple put the iPhone 5S on sale in the United States for the first time and almost immediately, we saw the gold iPhone 5S shipping times get pushed back. Those going into stores didn’t fare any better and some wound up walking out with gray and white iPhone 5S models instead. Many buyers still want the gold iPhone 5S and here, we take a look at the key things that buyers need to know about the device going forward.
Ahead of the iPhone 5S launch date, rumors suggested that Apple could have a new color or two up its sleeve. Leaks suggested that the iPhone 5S, the successor to the iPhone 5, could come with champagne gold and graphite gray colors. As it turns out, those leaks were dead on accurate as the company revealed two new colors at the device’s September 10th launch date.
On September 10th, Apple took the stage in Cupertino and showed off not only the beautiful new colors for the plastic iPhone 5C but it also debuted three colors for its new flagship, the iPhone 5S.
The company kept the white iPhone around but it got rid of the all-black color for the iPhone 5S, possibly because its anodized aluminum back was susceptible, possibly because it wanted to mix things up. Instead, the company unveiled a gold iPhone 5S and a gray iPhone 5S, which joined the white iPhone 5S on shelves today.
Today, Apple put the three new iPhone 5S models on sale both online and in-stores and as expected, consumers turned out in droves to buy the company’s new wares. And as expected, the iPhone 5S release has been hampered by delays, none worse than the gold iPhone 5S which was in short supply from the outset and is now sold out just about everywhere.
Here, on the heels of the sell out, we take a look at the key things that buyers need to know when it comes to the gold iPhone 5S.
AT&T Gold iPhone 5S
Those who are looking to buy the iPhone 5S through AT&T are not going to be able to pick one up today, plain and simple. We’ve talked to a handful of stores in California, all of which are sold out of their gold iPhone 5S stock, and AT&T’s website is currently showing that the gold iPhone 5S will ship out in 21-28 business days.
That means that at the earliest, the iPhone 5S won’t be shipping out until late October through AT&T. Again, Apple is showing an October shipping date as well. Those who order today will see their phone ship out in a month. Those who don’t order today face the possibility of longer shipping times. We don’t expect them to push out much further than late October but it’s a risk that buyers should be unwilling to take.
We expect stock in AT&T stores to be tight until October as well so there is no sense in heading down to a location to try and find a gold iPhone 5S. If anything, call ahead.
Sprint Gold IPhone 5S
Sprint, the nation’s third largest carrier, was a little slow to the draw earlier this morning as it lagged behind both AT&T and Verizon in getting the iPhone 5S up for sale. That unfortunately did not save it from the same issues that are plaguing the gold iPhone 5S in the United States.
The carrier says that iPhone 5S shipments are delayed up to three weeks, though, it does not say exactly when it might be shipping the gold iPhone 5S out to its customers. We fully expect Sprint to be in line with AT&T and Verizon, meaning, it’s likely sold out of gold iPhone 5S’ and thus, we don’t expect to see stock online or in-stores until October.
T-Mobile Gold iPhone 5S
T-Mobile’s iPhone 5S ordering process has been nothing short of a disaster. The website has been wonky and broken and many of those who went to stores this morning were turned away due to little or no stock. In fact, the store that we went to had no iPhone 5S stock at all.
What this means is that the iPhone 5S in general is scarce at T-Mobile and it likely means that the gold iPhone 5S is going to be about as scarce as it gets. The carrier isn’t saying how long its gold iPhone 5S delays are but we imagine that it’s in the same boat as the other carriers and Apple and likely won’t have stock until October.
It’s probably not even worth trying a retail store given that some stores didn’t even have stock of the gray and white iPhone 5S models either.
Verizon Gold iPhone 5S
T-Mobile’s situation is bad but Verizon’s gold iPhone 5S situation could be worse. Apple is saying that it will have gold Verizon iPhone 5S stock back in October, however, Verizon is saying that it won’t be shipping out gold iPhone 5S models until the beginning of November, more than a month from now. Specifically, the carriers says that it will be shipping out models starting November 4th. That date is subject to change as well and we imagine it could get worse.
That also means that retail stores are likely going to be completely wiped out, so those who are interested shouldn’t even bother going down to a retail store any time soon as there likely won’t be any stock, or any answers.
Don’t Buy a Color and Try and Return
Gold iPhone 5S buyers need to know this. We heard from several people earlier today that decided to buy another iPhone color in an attempt to return the device in 14 days to swap out with a gold iPhone 5S. Those people may have thought that what they were doing was clever but given the lengthy shipping times, it’s hard to imagine that in 14 days, we’ll see gold iPhone 5S models sprout up.
Buyers should not buy another color hoping to return it for a gold iPhone 5S. It’s not going to happen, it’s just wishful thinking. Instead, there are a few other possible ways to find gold iPhone 5S variants, buyers just need to be prepared to spend.
How to Get the Gold iPhone 5S
Those that came up empty-handed today are likely considering their options. Many will likely opt for the white or gray model. Those who are still adamant about buying though have a few routes to take in an effort to get the gold iPhone 5S right now.
Buyers who want the iPhone 5S now will want to check out places like Craigslist and eBay as we should see devices show up there over the next few days. Of course, they likely won’t be cheap as sellers are going to be charging premiums thanks to the stock shortages.
Sadly, these are going to be the only ways to get the gold iPhone 5S before October and November, unless Apple magically comes up with a massive shipment of gold iPhone 5S models across all four major carriers.
We think it’s possible that we could see some pop up into various stores across the United States in the next few weeks and those that are on the hunt will likely want to give a store a ring to see. The odds are slim to none, but at least there are odds.