Apple 2.0

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Apple analyst finds spot shortages of the iPhone 5C

September 27, 2013: 5:54 PM ET

BTIG's Walter Piecyk set out to test the idea that there's a glut of the lower-priced iPhone

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

FORTUNE -- The received wisdom on Wall Street is that Apple (AAPL) went overboard on the iPhone 5C -- in both price and production -- and that millions of unsold units are sitting in the warehouses of Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and the rest.

BTIG's Walter Piecyk set out to test that theory by calling a few stores. None of them, he says, responded with the usual "We have plenty! C'mon in anytime!"

  • Most of the 13 Verizon (VZ) stores he called had the 16 GB iPhone 5C in all colors, but a few had either run out of certain colors (yellow in particular) or never received them.
  • AT&T (T) said they had 5C in every color and size, even though some configurations were listed as out of stock on their website.
  • Availability at Sprint (S) was spotty. BTIG ended up calling 25 (out of 1,100) stores to produce the spreadsheet above.

"There are no real conclusions that you can draw from these calls," Piecyk wrote in a note to clients Friday, "but we felt compelled to get some color given a street view that seems to think that there is a glut of iPhone 5C inventory."

LINK: No glut of iPhone 5Cs at Sprint.

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About This Author
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 Fortune.com.

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