Apple iPhone 5: Widely Available at Last – Analyst

Leading U.S. Operators Show 90% Availability for Apple iPhone 5

by Anton Shilov
11/30/2012 | 05:12 PM

Apple and Foxconn Electronics have finally managed to meet supply and demand for Apple iPhone 5, at least in the U.S., according to a report. Given that sales of Apple iPhone products are usually very high in the first quarter of sales, it is likely that Foxconn had actually succeeded in increasing output of the products. But the report has certain limitations.


“We believe the iPhone 5 has finally reached a point where consumers can walk into an Apple store and walk out with a phone. […] The bottom line is that AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon  are consistently showing 90%+ availability,” wrote Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray, reports Tech Trader Daily.

Considering the fact that Foxconn has abilities to adjust manufacturing volumes relatively quickly, chances are fairly high that there are almost enough iPhone 5 devices on the U.S. market. At the same time, an obvious caveat of the report from the financial analyst is that it was based on an “ongoing survey of 20 Apple stores”. Still, it is also noted that wait times for online orders have halved, to about one week.

Mr. Munster expects Apple to sell record 45 million iPhone smartphones in the first quarter of fiscal 2013, which ends in late December. Mr. Munster reportedly said that because “full availability came so late in the quarter, there may not be significant upside to that estimate”.

The demand for Apple iPhone 5 is very high and while Foxconn is the only company in the world that can produce such a complex device in tens of millions of units per quarter, earlier it was not enough to fulfill demand, partly because of the fact that yields early in the lifecycle of any gadget are usually lower than desired.

After consumers discovered that the black version of Apple iPhone 5 can arrive with damages or scratches on the case, Foxconn and Apple imposed new quality-related requirements so that to ensure that the end-user gets smartphones without scrapes. After stricter quality requirements were imposed, Foxconn reportedly faced strikes at select facilities. Unfortunately, since there is a general issue with the black coating, consumers will easily damage their iPhones themselves.

Officially, Foxconn currently assembles the iPhone 5 for Apple at its plants in Zhengzhou, central China, and in Guan Lan, in southern China. There are reports claiming that Foxconn makes iPhone devices at other facilities as well.