Good Luck Getting an iPhone 5s on Friday

Apple's Touch ID fingerprint sensor may be causing supply problems.

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Glenn Chapman / AFP / Getty Images

Apple isn’t taking pre-orders for the iPhone 5s, so you’ll either have to wait in line on Friday or try your luck with an online order.

Neither approach is sure to work, though, as Apple reportedly wrestles with supply constraints for its latest iPhone.

Here’s Boy Genius Report’s Jonathan Geller, in a post in Twitter this morning:

He’s not the only one who’s reporting supply problems. Last week, a pair of analysts both said they expect the iPhone 5S to be in short supply at launch. Apple is taking reservations for the iPhone 5s in China, but most of Apple’s stock has already run out.

The problem may be Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor, which is built into the iPhone 5s home button, and allows you to unlock your phone or pay for apps by holding your thumb down instead of entering passwords. “Our checks indicate that the fingerprint sensor yields have been terrible and are the likely culprit for the H2 build plan cuts,” Peter Misek wrote, according to Barrons. Cantor analyst Brian White came to the same conclusion, saying that supply constraints may have factored into Apple’s decision not to take pre-orders for its flagship phone.

Despite the hype around new iPhone launches, in previous years getting the newest model on launch day hasn’t been too challenging, at least in my experience. There were long lines at my local Apple Store in Cincinnati last year, but I was able to skip the line and find an AT&T store that had a 16 GB black iPhone 5 in stock. The line tends to be more about the experience — and maybe a Wozniak sighting if you’re in the right place — than the practicality of getting an iPhone in a timely manner.

This year, I’m not so sure. It may be tougher than usual to get an iPhone on day one, but perhaps the lack of pre-orders will free up enough units for those who brave the lines. You can try your luck on Friday at Apple Stores, Best Buy, RadioShack, Target, Walmart and Apple authorized re-sellers, along with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless stores. Apple’s website will start taking orders at midnight Pacific time, or 3 a.m. Eastern, on Friday.

On the bright side, Apple’s plastic-clad, sans-Touch ID iPhone 5c is available for pre-order, and still set to ship on September 20.

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6 comments
baseballguy2001
baseballguy2001

Being an iPhone 4 user, I plan to upgrade soon. This weekend? Maybe, maybe not. The updated 5S may not be a good upgrade for an iPhone 5 user, but for other users like me, it's a no brainer. Android users, as a long time Machead, supply problems are an Apple staple. Years ago trying to get my MacII si, I had to wait three weeks! Marketing? Yes. Does it generate buzz? Obviously. It's just the way it is when they have the best products. 

CravinMoorehead
CravinMoorehead

Want to know the real problem?

People that use Apple products either have their thumbs up their a$$es or in their mouths.

A fool and his money are soon parted.

PeterPan2013
PeterPan2013

Get ready. iPhones will fly off shelves this weekend. Why? Simply put: Apple is The Gold Standard of applied innovation. Best get in line now.

hdroadkingpd
hdroadkingpd

BS - majority of stock will be at the Apple brick and mortar - lots of 5C's elsewhere, few golds few 64gb - most space gray and 16-32gb. Don't buy the hype. The more they sell in the shorter times reaps dividends for stock holders. Bloggers and magazines must be getting complimentary iPhones for floating this bull.

harveylubin
harveylubin

@CravinMoorehead

"Want to know the real problem?"

Uhhh, that would be you. ;-)

It's funny how fans of Android or other smartphone operating systems (but MOSTLY Android droids) just brag about their phone's specs (or sometimes how big & heavy, and pocket unfriendly it is ;-)).

Both CNET and AnandTech have now published a series of benchmarks comparing the iPhone 5S to the top Android phones, including the "fastest" Android phone, the LG G2.

Specs:

- iPhone 5S -- 2 cores @1.3 GHz, with 1GB of RAM

- LG G2 -- 4 cores @2.26 GHz,, with 2GB of RAM

Looking at the specs for the LG G2 (the fastest Android phone) you would think that it should be about 4-times faster than the iPhone 5S, since it has twice as many cores and almost double the GHz. But the iPhone 5S beat the LG G2 by a WIDE margin!!!

:-)