Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Apple sold out its iPhone 5S stock in less than a day

September 21, 2013: 8:40 AM ET

The iPhone 5C, however, has been restocked and is again available to ship in 24 hours.

Screen Shot 2013-09-21 at 8.15.32 AMFORTUNE -- By Saturday morning, less than 24 hours after the iPhone 5S went on sale in nine countries around the world, Apple (AAPL) had sold out its entire September stock. The company's U.S. online store shows all models in all colors unavailable before October.

In New York City, many of the more than 1,400 would-be customers who queued up outside Apple's Fifth Ave. store Friday morning went home without a phone. According to one survey, 95% were there for the iPhone 5S, preferably in gold.

Meanwhile, the iPhone 5C, whose ship times had slipped to 3 to 7 days Friday, was back in stock. By Saturday the Apple Store was once again promising to ship every model within 24 hours.

Apple is expected to issue a press release Monday reporting first weekend sales. Last year, Apple sold 5 million units of the iPhone 5 in its first weekend. It's unlikely that Apple would have gone into this weekend without stocking enough product to beat that record. Whether the company correctly anticipated the level of demand for each model remains to be seen.

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for

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