iPhone 5 now in stock at Apple stores; online ship time drops

The new smartphone is now available at Apple stores, polled by analysts at Piper Jaffray and Citi, while its wait time at Apple's online store has dropped to just one week.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read
No more waiting in line for the iPhone 5.
No more waiting in line for the iPhone 5. CBS Interactive

Consumers eyeing an iPhone 5 for the holidays now stand a much better chance of snagging one.

A poll of 20 U.S. Apple Stores conducted by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster found the iPhone 5 readily available for customers.

"We believe the iPhone 5 has finally reached a point where consumers can walk into an Apple Store and walk out with a phone," Munster said today in a note to investors that was sent to CNET.

The 20 stores polled also uncovered Verizon iPhone 5 handsets in stock, the model that has been in the shortest supply among the phone's three U.S. carriers. Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T all showed more than 90 percent availability, the analyst added.

An investors note released yesterday by Citi echoed Munster's results.

A Citi survey of 50 Apple Stores in the U.S. uncovered increased availability of the iPhone 5. Specifically, 92 percent of the stores polled said the new iPhone was "widely available," while 90 percent said it would be available for customers who walked into the store.

AT&T's models were in stock at 88 percent of the stores called by Citi analysts, while the Verizon iPhone was available at 80 percent.

For those of you who can't get to a physical Apple Store for the iPhone 5, the company's online store now displays a ship time of just one week.

That's down from the recent estimates of two weeks and two to three weeks earlier this month.

These findings mark the first time the iPhone 5 has become readily available since it launched in September.

Watch this: iPhone 5: Hands-on at CNET