Several UK networks told the BBC that the higher-priced handset was being ‘drip fed’ into the UK market, as opposed to ‘crates and crates’ of the lower-priced iPhone 5C.
Some observers have stated that the time taken to produce Apple’s new 64-bit processing chip, the A7, which is in the 5S but not in the 5C, might have slowed production of the 5S.
Two of the UK’s mobile networks told the BBC that the limitation of the 5S might instead be Apple’s attempt to increase sales of the 5C.
However, critics have suggested that the 5C has failed to excite customers, with Apple failing to release preorder numbers ahead of today’s launch, a break from tradition that many have perceived to be due to disappointing figures.
Unlike the 5C, the 5S was unavailable to preorder.
O2, the first UK network to release tariff details about the new phones, has said that due to the low numbers of 5S units, the phone would only be available to buy online, with demonstration models in-store.
Vodafone has stated that both phones would be available in-store from tomorrow (September 21st).
Perhaps due to the low stock, or due to popularity of the phone, the gold 5S has sold out in the US, UK and Australia, with shipping dates listed as ‘October’ on Apple’s online store.