iPhone 5s in extremely short supply ahead of Friday launch

If you're hoping to get an iPhone 5s this Friday, you might be advised to get up early.

iPhone launch day is just a few days away, and for just the second time in history, Apple didn't release pre-order sales figures. While investors have expressed their concern that this is an indication of less-than-stellar demand, it's important to keep in mind that the iPhone 5s isn't yet available for pre-order. The reason, according to the rumor mill, is that when production on the device first started, there were extremely low yields on the iPhone 5s fingerprint sensor.

Consequently, folks looking to pick up an iPhone 5s this weekend may be out of luck due to constrained supply.

Backing this assertion up, All Things D earlier today spoke with a number of carriers and came away with the same conclusion. One carrier even went so far as to call the iPhone 5s supply "grotesquely unvailable."

Sources at multiple U.S. carriers said that the inventory of the new phone is significantly less than expected.

“We will have grotesquely unavailable inventory,” was how one carrier source put it.

A source at a second carrier also complained of extremely disappointing shipments from Apple, but said that demand for the high-end iPhone may also be slightly less than initially thought, too. Apparently it is the colors of the iPhone 5c that seem to have captured more customer’s eye.

If demand in China is any indication, sales of the iPhone 5s will be stellar. For whatever reason, pre-orders for the iPhone 5s were in effect in China, whereupon the iPhone 5s sold out extremely quickly.

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