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Apple exhausts initial supply of iPhone 5S

Gregg Keizer | Sept. 23, 2013
Gold model runs out first; other colors backed up 7-10 working days in U.S. Hong Kong and China also report sell-outs.

Apple's retail stores, those of its partners — including Best Buy and Walmart — and the mobile carrier's outlets also start selling the iPhone 5S today. If the past is any clue, the brick-and-mortar stores will sell out if not today, then during the weekend.

Some Wall Street experts predicted bullish sales numbers, but have included the less-expensive iPhone 5C in their tallies. In a note to clients early Friday, Brian White of Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. predicted that Apple would sell between 6 million and 6.5 million new iPhones over the weekend, a 20% to 30% increase over 2012's 5 million in the same period.

Apple began taking pre-orders for the iPhone 5C, which starts at $99 with a two-year contract in the U.S., or $549 without one, a week ago, on Sept. 13.

The iPhone 5C is in much greater supply: In the U.S., Hong Kong and China, all five colors of the plastic-cased smartphone showed shipping times of 1-3 business days after ordering.

Assuming Apple follows past practice, it will announce opening weekend sales numbers on Monday, Sept. 23.

Apple ran through its iPhone 5S inventory of gold-colored smartphones in just minutes, and now shows a shipping date some time in October.


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