By Alexandra Burlacu | Sep 17, 2013 10:03 AM EDT
The iPhone 5S became available for reservation in China, Hong Kong on Sept. 17, but it mostly sold out within minutes, suggesting low global supply.
Apple has recently announced its new flagship smartphone, the iPhone 5S, along with a lower-cost, plastic iPhone 5C. Unlike the lower-end model, the iPhone 5S is not available for pre-order in the U.S., but customers in China and Hong Kong do have the possibility to reserve it.
Just minutes after the smartphone became available in the region, only the 16GB "Space Grey" units were still up for reservation, reports 9to5Mac. All other models were listed as either "sold out" or "currently unavailable" on the online store. As expected, the gold version of the iPhone 5S seems to have seen the highest demand, as the color is very popular for customers in that region.
The fact that the new iPhone 5S sold out so fast in China does not suggest good news for the rest of the world. On the contrary, it is an indication of low overall supply for the handset.
Previous reports suggested that Apple may have limited supplies of the iPhone 5S initially, due to the fact that the smartphone packs a fingerprint scanner. The Touch ID fingerprint sensor was rumored to result in lower yield rates. While that rumor is still unconfirmed, the rate at which the smartphone sold out in China suggests that Apple may indeed have a low initial supply for the iPhone 5S.
Customers in the U.S., meanwhile, will be able to pick up an iPhone 5S starting on Friday, Sept. 20, when the handset goes on sale in Apple Stores and other retail outlets.
Judging by the great hype surrounding the handset and the high demand in China, however, not all interested buyers may be able to get their hands on an iPhone 5S, at least not on launch day. Apple has not disclosed why it has chosen not to make the iPhone 5S available for pre-order in the U.S. or other parts of the world, but it will likely mean that large crowds will be waiting for the handset on Sept. 20.
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