A couple of days ago news about the iPhone 5 being sold out and it being available in the grey market alone, started doing the rounds.
To verify this further, we contacted a number of official Apple resellers such as Imagine, Reliance iStore and Maple and they all stated that as of now, the handset is, in fact, not in stock and the minimum waiting period for it is around 10 to 15 days. Currently they are only taking pre-bookings for the device. Those consumers who have pre-ordered the handset will be given priority over walk ins when the next batch of iPhones arrives.
We then contacted Apple India and they told us that multiple batches of iPhones had entered the market and they would continue to supply phones to resellers on a timely basis. They denied that the smartphone was not in stock.
Demand of the iPhone 5 is extremely high in India
As per their statement, units of the "acclaimed" iPhone 5 have been and currently are still flying off the shelves, hence the lack of supply. We were even told that people had purchased units of the iPhone 5 as recently as yesterday. The bottom line sems to be that the reason the device could be out of stock in certain stores is because of the high level of demand for the handset. Stocks are running out quickly thanks to the handset's immense popularity. Apple's spokesperson also informed us that the only model that is difficult to purchase is the 64GB version as there were some supply constraints here in India.
In the grey market, units of the iPhone 5 have become available and the stores are selling the device at the same cost as the official resellers. However, only the 16GB and 32GB models appear to be in stock and as is the case with the official resellers, the 64GB variant is not available. However, if one does want a 64GB version, the waiting period is not as long i.e. around a week or so. At present in the grey market, the black variant of the handset is difficult to come by.
The Apple iPhone 5, which was launched on November 2, was sold out at official resellers' stores on day one. It was reported that those interested in purchasing the handset would have to wait for three to five weeks for the second shipment to arrive.
Many had predicted that the iPhone 5 would not succeed in India due to its extremely high price tag, but this does not appear to be the case as is quite evident from the lack of supply.
Apple has teamed up with a couple of distribution channels, namely Redington and Ingram Micro to sell the iPhone 5 in India. Redington revealed the prices of the handset - the base model (16GB) is priced at Rs 45,500, the 32GB version will be available for Rs 52,500, and the 64GB model for Rs 59,500. These prices are more or less on par with the iPhone 4S from the previous generation, when it was first launched in India.
So in summation, if you really want the iPhone 5, either pre-order it or hope that when you enter an official reseller, there is a unit available.