AMITIAE - Monday 23 September 2013

Cassandra: iPhone 5s in South-east Asia - Not Plentiful Anytime Soon

apple and chopsticks


By Graham K. Rogers

One of my students told me last week that he was heading for Singapore at the weekend in the hopes that he could pick up a new iPhone. I think we were both doubtful about his probable success, but he was willing to make the trip despite the likely outcome: it is always a good shopping destination for Bangkok residents anyway and the Grand Prix was also on this weekend.

iPhone 5s On Monday, I bumped into him not long after I arrived, and from the look on his face, I could tell that the outcome had been negative. What he told me, however, suggests that supplies of the new iPhones, particularly the iPhone 5s, are in extremely short supply, and expecially in this region.

As is noted by Benjamin Mayo on 9to5Mac, there were a record 9 million iPhone sales over the weekend, but also 200 million iOS 7 updates. This does not bode well for the other 100 countries that were promised a rollout of the lates Apple prodcuts before the end of the year.

The student told me that there were no examples of the iPhone 5s for sale in the Singapore Apple outlets he visited. Orders for the device could only be made online, which of course ensures that those trying to buy the iPhone would be residents of Singapore. It would also allow Apple to limit the number of phones sold to a single person. These steps alone would stop much of the normal profiteering from sales of the device in other countries, where they would otherwise fetch a premium.

The iPhone 5c was available in the stores, albeit in limited supply. No yellow versions were available apparently as these had been sold out already in the USA. The information he gave me also suggested that the earliest the iPhone 5s will be available in larger numbers in Singapore outlets will be October.

As the markets in other countries begin their respective rollouts of these new iPhones, the picture may become a little clearer, but currently it looks like "All sold out" and short supplies for a few months to come.

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.



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