By Salvador Rodriguez
11:24 AM EDT, September 18, 2013
Consumers looking for the iPhone 5s on Friday may want to get in line early, because there may not be too many available.
Numerous reports are saying Apple is expected to be tight on its supplies of the iPhone 5s, one of two new iPhone models the company will roll out for sale Friday.
The iPhone 5s is the high-end option being offered by Apple. It features an improved processor, camera and a fingerprint scanner that can be used to unlock the device. The 16-gigabyte iPhone 5s starts at $199 with a two-year service contract.
9to5Mac reports that the iPhone 5s is only making up 20% to 30% of the supplies at many large Apple Stores around the country, with the rest being the cheaper iPhone 5c model. Citing unnamed sources at those stores, 9to5Mac reports that the iPhone 5s "will be available in limited quantity."
The iPhone 5s comes in three versions, in black "Space Gray," in gold and white, as well as in silver and white.
Apple expects more people to want the "Space Gray" version, and that's why three out of four iPhone 5s units being stocked at Apple stores are likely to be in that option, according to 9to5Mac. That, of course, means finding a silver or gold model will be a much tougher task.
Customers can also expect supplies to be tight if they try to buy the iPhone 5s at a carrier. According to AllThingsD, carriers are calling their supply of the iPhone 5s as "grotesquely unavailable."
The reports make sense considering this is the first time in a few years that Apple does not make its $199 iPhone available for pre-order before going on sale in stores. The iPhone 5c, however, can be purchased in advance online.
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