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The iPhone 5s will be in teeth-gnashingly short supply when it drops on Friday and for weeks afterwards, testimonies from US networks suggest.

Carriers quizzed by AllThingsD apparently reported feeling short-changed by Apple over stock levels of the handset. So much so that one unnamed source told the site he anticipates that his network “will have grotesquely unavailable inventory”.

iphone 5s detail

The shortages may explain Apple’s decision not to make the iPhone 5s available on pre-order, presumably fearful that it could end up with barely any units to sell in Apple Stores on the day of release this Friday.

A reason for the shortfall isn’t given. But it’s a pretty safe bet that manufacturing problems are at the root of it, most likely related to the iPhone 5s’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner.

The scanner, which early reviews of the iPhone 5s have singled out for praise, uses fingerprint and LCD driver chips that reports from July indicated were themselves in short supply.

iphone 5s family

UK networks to have disclosed iPhone 5s pricing on 4G and 3G plans so far include O2, Vodafone and EE. Three is expected to reveal its offering imminently.

Available in graphite grey, gold and white, the iPhone 5s’s spec sheet takes in a mightier A7 processor, an improved eight-megapixel iSight camera and the totally overhauled iOS 7 operating system.


All Things D

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