Shops in Hong Kong are still sold out of the iPhone 5, according to Topeka Capital Markets' Brian White. The analyst is currently touring Asia, and says that in Hong Kong all of the stores he visited were out of the new iPhone. "At Apple's retail store, the iPhone 5 can be ordered online and a lottery process determines who is eligible for pickup at the store the next day," he comments in a new investor memo
. "Based on our conversations, you might have a better shot at winning the lottery than getting the iPhone 5 the next day."
In mainland China meanwhile, China Unicom is said to have sold out of the iPhone 4S at some of its retail locations. White suggests that the carrier is trying to "avoid an inventory situation ahead of the [country's] iPhone 5 launch," which is expected to happen in December. Once a new iPhone model comes out interest in old ones tends to fall off dramatically, potentially leaving vendors with piles of unsold stock.
Apple is still in the process of expanding iPhone 5 sales. In December the phone should be available in 100 countries, up from just a handful when it debuted in September.