Another Two Weeks Before Apple Can Catch Up With iPhone 5 Demand

By Anu Passary | Nov 22, 2012 09:58 AM EST

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iFans may be having a tough time laying their hands on the iPhone 5, but analysts are estimating that the supply of the smartphone at Apple's U.S. retail stores will soon manage to catch up with the high demand in time for the busy holiday shopping season.

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According to an Apple Insider report, Gene Munster, analyst at Piper Jaffray, and his team "have continued their nightly checks of 100 Apple Stores" and found that the supply of Verizon and AT&T models of the iPhone 5 have shown a significant improvement, whereas units from carrier Sprint remain readily available. The availability varies depending on carrier.

"As we get closer to the holiday, we believe consumers will likely have the ability to walk into an Apple Store and walk out with an iPhone 5 within the next two weeks," noted Gene Munster.

Munster revealed that his Apple Store checks showed "dramatic improvements in availability." On Nov. 20, the AT&T and Verizon variants of the smartphone were available at nearly 82 percent and 72 percent of the company stores, respectively. Additionally, Sprint's version of the iPhone 5 stock was available in 92 percent of the Apple Stores.

The "two weeks" shipping forecast Munster has made is corroborated by Apple's online store. The shipping estimates for the iPhone 5 have dropped to two weeks for the first time. In the past, the store reflected the iPhone 5 shipment dates to be nearly three to four week, which showed a slight improvement last week to two to three weeks. The two weeks estimation will be welcomed by iFans and is indicative that the company is finally being able to keep pace with the demand.

The shipment delay, it is believed, is due to Apple encountering several quality control issues with the assembly of the iPhone 5. However, according to checks Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu conducted within Apple's supply chain, the company has improved its iPhone 5 production capacity since the smartphone's September launch.

With Apple forecasted to sell 46.5 million iPhone units in the December quarter, things seem to be looking up for the most valuable tech company in the world.

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