Friday may be a disappointing end to the week for iPhone 5S hopefuls if reports of constrained new iPhone supplies prove as bleak as they sound.
According to a number of reports, launch inventory of the 5S is far below expected volumes, at least at U.S. carriers. There's no word on where international supplies stand, but the U.S. may not be alone in having a limited 5S offering come Sept. 20.
"We will have grotesquely unavailable inventory," one U.S. carrier source told AllThingsD, which reported today the message is the same at multiple U.S. carriers. Another carrier source noted that though shipments are paltry, demand for the Touch ID-equipped iPhone may not be very strong either.
While there shouldn't be a problem picking up the iPhone 5C on launch day, supplies of the 5S are "severely constrained," according to a BGR source.
The site reported Apple hasn't been able to pump out enough 5Ses to fulfill the first wave of demand, which may be behind the decision not to take advance pre-orders.
We've asked AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint for comment on these reports. AT&T responded by saying it has nothing to share at this time while Sprint said it's not commenting on iPhone 5S supplies.
iPhone 5S release woes
Pre-orders for the iPhone 5S opens at 12:01 a.m. PT Sept. 20, or 8:01 a.m. London time and 5:01 p.m. in Melbourne.
Apple Stores will start selling the iPhone 5S at 8 a.m. local time, and lines are already forming for it and the iPhone 5C.
Bucking the international trend, reservations for the iPhone 5S opened in China and Hong Kong earlier today, however nearly all storage models and all colors sold out within minutes, reported 9to5Mac.
The site separately reported that of the new iPhone supplies at large U.S. Apple Stores, about 70%-80% of the phones are the iPhone 5C.
The space gray iPhone 5S model is expected to be the most popular and therefore the most in stock, while the white and gold models will be much rarer finds.
To pacify what could be some cranky customers, Apple is supposedly preparing an Apple Store app update that will tell customers when new iPhones are available at their local Apple Store. The update is expected to arrive by next week.