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Despite supply concerns, Apple has iPhone 5s well stocked

Friday, November 30, 2012 - 11:00am

It looks like there will not be a shortage of iPhone 5s this holiday season, with plenty of the devices for all carriers in stock at stores around the U.S.

Analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray said in a note to investors Thursday that Apple Stores have enough phones physically in stock that "consumers can walk into an Apple Store and walk out with a phone."

The iPhone 5 went on sale September 14, selling 5 million units over its first weekend. The device has been plagued by rumors of supply chain problems since then.

There were labor strikes at the Foxconn plant where the phones are manufactured, and Foxconn chairman Terry Gou said the devices were not easy to make and that, "We are falling short of meeting the huge demand."

If Munster's conclusions are correct, Apple and its supply chain partners have overcome those problems in time for the December rush. Munster conducted a survey of 20 Apple Stores to check on their stocks of Verizon, Sprint and AT&T iPhone 5s, and AppleInsider said it confirmed the availability with local Apple Stores.

Earlier in the month, Piper Jaffray called 70 Apple Stores and concluded that there were lower supplies of AT&T and Verizon iPhone 5s, though Sprint models were increasingly available.

The firm also conducted a poll earlier this month and found that demand for the device was strong in the U.S., with 55% of people planning to buy a smartphone choosing an iPhone 5 over rival devices.

Apple isn't the only smartphone manufacturer to struggle with supplies recently. Google's Nexus 4 Android handset sold out in one day when it went on sale November 13 in Australia, the UK and United States. But on Tuesday, the company announced a new wave of devices were in stock and available for purchase. Google is not releasing sales numbers for the Nexus 4.

Samsung's Galaxy S III has also been selling fast across the U.S.

According to Strategy Analytics, the Galaxy S III was the top selling smartphone in the world in the third quarter of 2012, knocking the iPhone out of the top spot for the first time in years. The iPhone 5 wasn't yet on sale, so the race for top smartphone of 2013 is still up in the air.
 

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