Apple's latest iPhones are now on sale online worldwide and at retail stores across Europe and Asia, with a US retail launch scheduled for 8:00AM local time. If you're looking for a gold iPhone 5S, however, you may leave the Apple Store disappointed. Despite being the star of Apple's flagship lineup, multiple sources tell The Verge that the new gold model is in short supply for launch day.
Confirming our sources' reports, the gold iPhone 5S is now listed with an "October" shipping date in the US, UK, and Australia online stores, while all the other colors currently have one-to-three and seven-to-ten day delivery estimates. It took less than 30 minutes for the gold 5S to slip to an October wait in the US. Several earlier reports also suggested that the iPhone 5S will be hard to come by in general, as Apple may be focusing on the lower-cost iPhone 5C, which could be in higher demand and easier to produce in large numbers right now.
How well are the iPhones selling?
Though Apple has been accepting preorders for the iPhone 5C for a week now, we still haven't gotten a sense of how well it's selling — a break in Apple's tradition of announcing early pre-order figures. In the past, Apple has also revealed sales figures after a new iPhone's debut weekend is over, so we may still get a sense of just how many devices Apple has sold come Monday.
Though Apple's own retail stores may be the place to be for the best chance at finding the iPhone model you're looking for, a number of other retailers and carriers are looking to one-up it right out of the gate. In the US, Sprint is offering the iPhone 5C for free to new customers, while Walmart and Target are knocking its price down to around $79. Sprint and Walmart are extending their offers to the iPhone 5S to a lesser extent, with Sprint discounting the flagship device to $99.99 and Walmart discounting it to $189.
Update: Apple has confirmed a general shortage of the iPhone 5S in a statement to All Things D, noting that the phone has already sold out and is in limited supply of certain models in certain stores: "Demand for the new iPhones has been incredible and we are currently sold out or have limited supply of certain iPhone 5s models in some stores."
The Wall Street Journal is also reporting that Apple is now instructing its suppliers to increase production of the gold iPhone 5S in order to meet the high demand it's seeing. Apple is reportedly increasing its order of the gold model by one-third over its initial order.
READ MORE: iPhone 5S review
Additional reporting by Aaron Souppouris.