While the availability of Apple’s popular iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets is improving at Apple’s retail stores in the United States, their inventory levels trail that of last year’s iPhone 5s at this point in 2013.
… according to a new report from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who has been tracking in-store availability of various models across 80 different stores since the devices’ launch in September.
The report, which checks Apple’s online store for in-Store pickup availability, found that 56% of “core SKUs” (AT&T and Verizon) of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were in stock as of last Friday, December 12, which was “up from almost no inventory in mid-November.”
“We believe that this tracking suggests that availability has improved, but we also note that we would have expected availability to be 100%. Previously, we believed that Apple would likely reach 100% availability by the end of the quarter. We now expect it to be closer to 80% by the end of the quarter.”
Online shipping estimates in the U.S. and other countries began improving in late November, and improved to 3-5 business days earlier this month. Munster noted that typically it would be expected that we’d see online times to be the same business day at this point in the cycle.
Apple’s iPhone 5s, which faced similar supply constraints following its launch in 2013, saw 100% availability, (by Munster’s estimates), as of December 9th of that year.
While iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus supply constraints do appear to be easing, it does seems as if customers may have to do a bit of searching to find that particular model they are longing for.