iPhone 6S hits retail amid online shortages and profiteering

In other words, it's a typical launch day

IPhone 6S launch in Palo Alto
Employees at Apple's Palo Alto store welcome the first customers for the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus on Sept. 25, 2015. Credit: Martyn Williams

As Apple's new iPhone 6S an 6S Plus went on sale today in the company's retail stores, the smartphones remain backordered for weeks when purchased online.

The situation was the norm for Apple, which typically is short of inventory of new iPhones for weeks, sometimes months.

According to the iPhone 6S Pre-Order Tracker, which scrapes Apple's online outlet to determine which models, storage configurations and carrier options are backordered and by how long, the 5.5-in. iPhone 6S Plus currently has a three-to-four-week delay between ordering and shipping in the U.S., Australia, China, Japan and the U.K.

IPhone 6S launch in Palo Alto Martyn Williams

The first customer to buy an iPhone 6S walks out of Apple's Palo Alto store on Sept. 25, 2015.

The smaller 4.7-in. iPhone 6S was also backordered. In China, the model will ship two-to-three weeks after ordering, while in the U.K., Japan and Australia, the wait is a week shorter. In the U.S., iPhones ordered today are to ship between Oct. 5 and 19, depending on the carrier, color and storage allotment. Oct. 19 is more than three weeks from today.

Last year, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were in supply-demand imbalance until January 2015, approximately four months after launch.

The backordered iPhones also kicked off the usual wave of sales on secondary sites, including eBay, by people who were first in the pre-order line two weeks ago and have begun receiving their devices today.

Some eBay sellers have clearly overestimated the willingness of buyers to pay outrageous prices -- two posted "Buy It Now" prices above $10,000 for an iPhone 6S Plus. Other profiteers asked lower-but-still-galling numbers.

A common price listed on eBay for an iPhone 6S Plus, for example, was $1,500, anywhere between 58% and 100% above Apple's unsubsidized price, depending on the on-device storage allowance. The lowest Buy It Now price for an iPhone 6S Plus -- a 64GB model -- was $1,099, or 29% above list.

eBay Phone 6S plus sample price eBay

eBay profiteers have again surfaced to take advantage of iPhone shortages. This seller is hoping to turn a 56% profit.

Also traditional for Apple, many of its retail outlets sported lines today as buyers queued up to get an iPhone immediately, rather than wait weeks.

This story, "iPhone 6S hits retail amid online shortages and profiteering" was originally published by Computerworld.

To comment on this article and other CIO content, visit us on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.
Download the CIO October 2016 Digital Magazine
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.