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Buying An iPhone 5s Is More Difficult Than Ever Before

Here’s a head scratcher. Analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray says that iPhone 5s inventories have worsened since the handset first launched on Sept. 20. This news comes just days after Apple announced the iPhone 5s would launch in additional countries in the coming weeks. As first noted by AppleInsider, Munster says that iPhone 5s supplies went from 27 percent availability two weeks ago, to 6 percent over the past week. This finding is based on checks at 60 Apple retail stores. More worrisome, the number of stores that had at least one iPhone 5s SKU available has also dropped. Two weeks ago, 90 percent of stores reported having at least one model in stock. That number is just 40 percent now. [caption id="attachment_473992" align="aligncenter" width="300"]The iPhone 5c is easy to find The iPhone 5c is easy to find[/caption] In another sign of demand, the analyst found that the resell value for the iPhone 5s remains high. He found that the entry-level 16GB iPhone 5s is currently selling at a 32 percent premium in the United States. Meanwhile, the iPhone 5c remains well stocked, according to Munster, who attributes these changes to Apple preparing for the international launch of the iPhone 5s. He notes, "We expect iPhone aftermarket prices should decrease as 5S supply catches up to demand and would consider the 5S fully stocked when the 5S is available to ship in a 24 hour lead time.” On Wednesday, Apple announced the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c would launch in additional countries in two waves. On Friday, Oct. 25, the handsets will arrive in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, French West Indies, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Reunion Island, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Thailand. One week later, on Nov. 1, they will be available in Albania, Armenia, Bahrain, Colombia, El Salvador, Guam, Guatemala, India, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates. The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c launched on Sept. 20 in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. During the first 72 hours, 9 million iPhone units were sold. Since then, supplies have remained stubbornly low, especially for the gold iPhone 5s. If you’re still looking for an iPhone 5s, our advice is to buy one online. You can also check U.S. supplies in your area using this handy tool. See also: Going For Gold? Now You Can Set Up iPhone 5s Stock Email AlertsSome Very Bad News For Apple's iPhone 5c, and Best Buy Preparing $100 Trade-In Promotion For iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c.  
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