When will the wait to buy an Apple iPhone 5 end?

Want to buy an iPhone 5? It can take as long as a month before you can get your hands on the sleek device because of problems supplying enough screens for the smartphone.

On Thursday’s conference call with analysts, Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted there is a significant delay but also said the holdups are easing.

“The demand for the iPhone is extremely robust,” he said. “We are in a significant state of backlog right now. In terms of production, our output has improved significantly since earlier this month. I’m very pleased with the progress — the current level of output in what is the largest volume ramp in Apple’s history.

“It’s difficult to predict when supply and demand will balance, but I’m confident in our ability to supply quite a few iPhones,” Cook said.

During its the fourth quarter, which ended Sept. 29, Apple sold 26.9 million iPhones, a 58 percent jump over the year-ago quarter. IPhone sales represent about half of the company’s revenue.

Supply problems for the iPhone 5 have weighed on Apple’s stock. Shares of Apple have dropped significantly since its record highs of more than $700 a share last month. In Friday morning trading, shares of Apple were down more than 2 percent to $595.50.

Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu sees plenty of upside for the company, especially after it updated most of its products in the last six weeks as well as launching the iPad Mini.

“They are taking market share from everybody else,” Wu said. “Their problems are always about demand — they can’t make enough (products fast enough). A lot of companies can only dream of having problems like that.”

 

John Boudreau John Boudreau (79 Posts)

I cover the intersection of Silicon Valley and Asia.