iPhone 5S Gold Rush: Apple's Latest Nugget in Scarce Supply

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2013-09-20

Apple, for the first time, launched a flagship iPhone without making it available to preorder, which meant demand was intense on Sept. 20. Analysts had predicted that iPhone 5S supplies might be limited, due to production issues with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and one carrier source warned All Things D Sept. 17 that inventory would be "grotesquely unavailable." What no one quite expected, though, was a worldwide rush for the gold iPhone 5S, which by 8 a.m. ET was nearly impossible to come by. By 8:10, an Apple store in Manhattan was out, and by 10 a.m., Apple's online store had changed the shipping date for the gold iPhone 5S to "October" and AT&T had delayed shipments to "7 to 10 business days" for the silver and gray 5S models and "21 to 28 business days" for the gold. "Since new iPhone models are always a case of conspicuous consumption, persons lucky enough to get their hands on a gold iPhone 5S will be gods among men for the next few weeks or months," Strategy Analytics analyst Ken Hyers told eWEEK. He noted that reports of gold iPhone shortages were coming from around the globe, adding wryly, "Ah, first-world problems!"


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