Demand for Apple’s new iPhone 4S appears to be unwavering both at home and abroad.
When the device became available for pre-order last Friday in Hong Kong, it sold out within 10 minutes. And in the States, retail inventories are reportedly being depleted almost as quickly as Apple can replenish them.
Deutsche Bank’s Chris Whitmore says a great majority of Apple’s U.S. stores are running out of of the 4S on a daily basis.
“Our retail checks reveal Apple is experiencing daily stock outs at 85 to 90 percent of the ~30 retail stores we called,” Whitmore wrote in a note to clients. “Apple employees are directing customers to make an online appointment (first come first serve) for next day pick up at nearby Apple retail stores as stocks appear to be refreshed daily at most locations.”
Interestingly, availability at Apple’s carrier partners AT&T, Sprint and Verizon seems to be a bit more sporadic. “Our calls to carrier stores reveal infrequent shipments and no certainty when the next shipment will arrive with widespread shortages,” Whitmore explains. “It appears that Apple is prioritizing its own stores with new iPhones.”
So once again, Apple is working hard to keep up with massive demand for its latest iPhone and, once again, supply is likely the only factor limiting how many handsets it will sell.
Says Whitmore, “Continued strong demand (ahead of the holidays with more countries to be rolled out) makes our 28 million iPhone estimate for the December quarter appear increasingly conservative.”