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iPhone 5s Launch Sees Frustration as Inventory Sells Out Quick



The iPhone 5s officially launched today, and millions of people across the US have been waiting in lines at Apple Stores, carrier locations and retailers. We’ve known that inventory would be severely limited, and since Apple didn’t put the iPhone 5s up for pre-order, it was every man and woman for him/herself this morning as eager consumers waited in line in order to get the model they wanted.

However, that hasn’t been the case for many line waiters. We’ve been hearing that gold and silver inventory of the iPhone 5s is severely limited, while space grey models are in abundant stock — at least at locations near me, where one Verizon store manager said they had “a ton of space grey models” in stock.

Those wanting gold models probably aren’t going to get them for a while. The Verizon store near me didn’t even have any in stock, and online sales of that version are going quick. Even those who waited for online orders to start were too late, as some users who fiddled around looking for their billing passwords were SOL when they got around to ordering the gold version.

iPhone 5S Shortages

However, those who ordered as soon as sales went live were easily able to grab a gold iPhone 5s with a 1-3 day ship time, while others saw their ship time jump from 1-3 days to 7-10 days between page loads. We ourselves were able to grab a gold iPhone 5s at one of the Apple Stores in San Francisco after waiting in line for several hours.

Apple Stores were no doubt the most popular place to line up at, with New York City’s 5th Avenue flagship store seeing over 1,400 people waiting in line, which is double the line length for last year’s iPhone 5 launch, according to analyst Gene Munster. Carrier stores were much less crowded, though, as we saw as many as only 25-30 people lined up in several stores across Indiana and Ohio. I was able to be third in line when I arrived about an hour and a half before the store opened.

Granted, this is only Indiana and Ohio, so we reckon carrier stores and retail locations in larger cities were a bit more crowded, but it seems overall that Apple Stores were the place to be for a lot of people.

While the iPhone 5s is the star of the show, many people have went ahead and ordered the iPhone 5c in order to spare themselves from waiting in line. Some people are even receiving their iPhone 5c units today, while those who ordered the iPhone 5s will have to wait a few days, although many people gladly paid the $20 overnight shipping fees in order to get the phone on their doorstep tomorrow.

If you waited in line for the iPhone, what was the experience like for you? Let us know in the comments!



  1. Techman

    09/20/2013 at 7:43 am

    Most UK stores had very limited or no stock at all. Online ordering via the Apple UK site vaguely now states “October” for any varisnts of 5S colour/memory.

  2. Jeff

    09/20/2013 at 8:00 am

    I was able to order a silver model through Verizon’s web site this morning around 6:00 AM, estimated ship date sometime prior to October 7th.

  3. Jean

    09/20/2013 at 9:08 am

    Only inventory in the Chicago area is at the Apple stores with lines wrapping around the building. I was12th in line at a Verizon store and when I was let into the store, the only phone available was the “space gray”. They never received the gold phone and the silver can be ordered and shipped in October. Made a couple more stops to other Verizon stores and this was the same situation as well. Frustrated sales people as well as customers. Massive fail, Apple.

  4. Larry

    09/20/2013 at 9:26 am

    Ordered with my apple account and got my white 64 gb VZW very easy 1/3 ship days I can wait I’m still getting used to iOS 7 on my old iPhone so by than I will know and be used it it lol lol than I’m set till iOS 8 iPhone 6 2014. See ya all then and good luck :)) peace out till next year:))

  5. Tyler

    09/20/2013 at 9:35 am

    I walked up to the store at open and there were only about five people in line at the sprint store. The store only received 15 phones, all in space gray. They had very few 16gb, or we would have just gray. Surprisingly they are well stocked with the 64gb version. We put a deposit down for when’re the first silver phones show up at that location. It would seem I’ll be waiting much longer than expected. I should’ve just ordered online.

    • Tyler

      09/20/2013 at 9:37 am


  6. Larry

    09/20/2013 at 6:39 pm

    Anyone wanna buy a 64 gb silver n white verizon 5S??? I desided I don’t want it, I will list on eBay, Sony Xperia Z was better also a 64 gb white n silver iPhone 5 with iOS 7 great new condition as well

  7. Warren

    09/21/2013 at 9:01 pm

    My experience at my very first launch day was great. I arrived about 2 hours before the AT&T store opened in Hanford, CA. and was 11th in line. About an hour and a half before opening we were fed breakfast and given a water while we waited. Then about 45 minutes before they opened an employee came out and pre-screened everyone in line to make sure there were no hang ups once they opened and started selling. Once inside I was assigned my own employee to assist me in my purchase and was able to get my 5S without any problems whatsoever.

  8. Larry

    09/25/2013 at 3:11 pm

    Never mind sold them both cha Ching $$$$$

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